From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America | Howard Schultz

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2019: Book #7

Will he run for President? The book is his case to run.

“From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America” is a book by former Starbucks Chairman and CEO, Howard Schultz. It’s a fascinating read.

Schultz is a kid from the projects of New York. His dad physically abused him so badly that he skipped school to allow the bruises to heal on his face.

He built Starbucks from the ground up. He borrowed money, worked hard, built a team, and created an incredible organization.

Schultz walks you through various lessons he’s learned in his life. The book also tells the story of how he stumbled as a leader at Starbucks. Multiple times in the book he apologizes for mistakes he’s made. I find that refreshing and amazing.

Every leader should read this book. You’ll see the heart, courage, and fear of a leader on full display. Every American citizen should read this book as well.

Organizations can have a soul. Starbucks gave health insurance to full-time and part-time workers. They offered tuition and free college educations to their team members. Schultz led the effort to hire veterans and help them re-enter the workforce after a life in the military. He wanted the nation to talk about race, so they trained baristas on how to approach the topic. It was a total flop…a complete misstep. Schultz owns it. Even so, I give him credit…he tried, which is more than I can say for the people who criticize him.

During the beginnings of the immigration debate under President Trump, Schultz, and another favorite author of mine, Nancy Koehn—a professor at the Harvard Business School—wrote an op-ed in the Financial Times. Here’s a portion:

“We look to leaders to condemn vitriol and intolerance…But not enough of our elected officials are using their voice with due force and eloquence to elevate the ideal of equality. We implore all elected officials to speak their conscience with more conviction. History shows that silence is unforgivable, for it gives bigotry license. And when meek words masquerade as moral courage, they are perceived as indifference and give the worst of human nature permission to flourish.”

Wow, that’s powerful.

Will he run for President? I haven’t a clue.

Could he do the job? That’s for you to decide…but either way, it’s a great read.

That’s book #7 for 2019.
45 more to go.

Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.
#52in2019

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