In 2008, Howard Schultz, the president and chairman of Starbucks, made the unprecedented decision to return as the CEO eight years after he stepped down from daily oversight of the company and became chairman. Concerned that Starbucks had lost its way, Schultz was determined to help it return to its core values and restore not only its financial health, but also its soul. In Onward, he shares the remarkable story of his return and the company’s ongoing transformation under his leadership, revealing how, during one of the most tumultuous economic times in history, Starbucks again achieved profitability and sustainability without sacrificing humanity. Offering readers a snapshot of a moment in history that left no company unscathed, the book zooms in to show, in riveting detail, how one company struggled and recreated itself in the midst of it all. The fast paced narrative is driven by day-to-day tension as conflicts arise and lets readers into Schultz’s psyche as he comes to terms with his limitations and evolving leadership style. Onward is a compelling, candid narrative documenting the maturing of a brand as well as a businessman.
Onward represents Schultz’s central leadership philosophy: It’s not just about winning, but the right way to win. Ultimately, he gives readers what he strives to deliver every day- a sense of hope that, no matter how tough times get, the future can be just as or more successful than the past, whatever one defines success to be. “Through the lens of his personal leadership journey, with all of its dizzying ups and agonizing downs, Howard Schultz has written, with aching honesty and passion, the single most important book on leadership and change for our time and for every generation of leaders. This book is not just recommended reading, it’s required.” Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California, and author of the recently published Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership “[This] sequel to the founding of Starbucks is grittier, more gripping, and dramatic, and [Schultz’s] voice is winning and authentic. This is a must-read for anyone interested in leadership, management, or the quest to connect a brand with the consumer.” Publishers Weekly