Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
After a working life spent building Starbucks from a chain of 28 stores to an international coffee business through positions such as executive vice president of sales, founding president of Starbucks International and president of Starbucks North America, Howard Behar tells of the strategies he used to establish the business into the success it is today. Behar shares the soft skills that helped to construct the company from a regional outlet to a corporation with international reach. While the book occasionally brings in examples from other companies, sharing anecdotes from Starbucks itself is Behar's strong suit. The most interesting sections involve stories behind products readers may know from their own visits to the coffee retailer. Thoughts behind the bottled Frappuccino product's launch or the "have it the way you like it" approach to beverage making are revealed. While revolutionary ideas are outnumbered by more standard good business practices, the voice of experience and in-house examples from a popular company make for a decent read for those wanting to develop or refresh basic business leadership skills. (Dec. 27) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Live and learn: each of these books may define its topic as leadership, but open the covers and all commonality ends. Behar (former president, Starbucks International) lists ten basic leadership lessons, including building trust, being accountable, taking action, and daring to dream, illustrated by typical corporate anecdotes and "extra shots" of advice throughout. Like many before him, e.g., Joseph Michelli's The Starbucks Experience and Howard Schultz's Pour Your Heart into It, Behar offers a quickly paced, if not original, volume seeking to capitalize on the cultural cachet of Starbucks. Corporate leadership coach Strelecky (The Why Cafe) offers another business/inspirational self-help parable, this time about the fictional character Thomas Derale, the "greatest leader in the world," who happens to be dying. His favored employee and disciple learns Derale's final lessons by discovering his own PFE ("purpose for existing," originally defined in The Why Cafe) and learning to live according to his "Big Five for Life," the five things you want to do before you die. Although the story starts to wear thin before its conclusion, Strelecky makes a heartfelt, if not unique, case that successful leaders are those who encourage others to find fulfillment. Storytelling is also important for Denning (senior fellow, James MacGregor Burns Leadership Academy, Univ. of Maryland; The Leader's Guide to Storytelling). At times, his treatise reads more like a public-speaking manual than one for "transformational" leaders, i.e., those who inspire positive change through effective communication. Although some readers might feel his emphasis on techniques such as getting your audience's attention, eliciting desire for action, and reinforcing with reasons are too narrowly focused, Denning cohesively links the importance of narrative intelligence and telling stories to leadership success. He follows his own storytelling advice by opening with an account of Al Gore's evolution from 2000 to 2006, as well as by offering clear and compelling explanations and drawing on a wide range of referenced sources. His book includes appendixes containing exercises and a self-test. Behar's and Strelecky's books, solid but not particularly innovative, are recommended only for public libraries seeking to expand their business offerings. Denning's is recommended for public and academic collections owing to its more comprehensive linking of communication to successful leadership.-Sarah Statz Cords, Madison P.L., WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.