Past Meetup

MBA Book Club - Onward:How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul

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Lifelong learning is important to your continued growth and development, and the WMU MBA Book Club continues to provide great opportunities for you to visit current business topics that help you succeed in the competitive marketplace. Our next Book Club session is Tuesday, October 30, 2012 (Location TBD) in Grand Rapids, Michigan (6:00 pm meeting start time). This month’s book is Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul (Howard Schultz). Marilyn Mayes from Steelcase has graciously agreed to lead the discussion this time. Read the book, then stop in for an hour and a half evening discussion about the topic (happy hour to follow the book discussion if you have time to stay out a little later) – no time to read the book, but have some thoughts about organizational culture and company values you would like to discuss? Stop by anyway; we want to hear what you have to say on this topic! RSVP for this session at

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 fastpaced 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.

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