Sneak Peek: Super Soul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey and Howard Schultz
Ask The Strategist has been given an exclusive preview of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Super Soul Sunday, which airs this Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11 a.m. ET on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Winfrey sits down with Schultz, who shares the story of his inspiring rise from the housing projects in Brooklyn, New York, to his current role as a successful entrepreneur, global thought leader, and innovator.
Schultz will share the leadership lessons he’s learned while guiding this iconic brand for more than three decades, discussing how an emphasis on ethics, authenticity and a people-before-profit philosophy helped to grow and sustain his multi-billion dollar company.
Reflecting on his #1 New York Times bestseller, “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul,” Schultz recounts the story behind the global coffee company’s comeback in 2008, when he decided to return as the CEO to help restore Starbucks’ core values and mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit – “one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
Following are three excerpts and video clips of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Howard Schultz on Super Soul Sunday on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
EXCERPT: One of Howard’s Principles: “Don’t Be Threatened By People Smarter Than You”
OPRAH: And I know that you’re guided by your own values and your own set of principles. There are four that you talk about that I love: Don’t be threatened by people smarter than you. Can you speak to that?
HOWARD: You can’t build any kind of organization if you’re not gonna surround yourself with people who have experience and skill base beyond your own. Only as if those people have like-minded values.
OPRAH: That is the key to starting anything.
HOWARD: That’s the key. And I think when you discover perhaps that these people do not have those values, then you have to have a very quick conversation. And if they don’t demonstrate that kind of behavior, not everyone deserves to be on the team.
OPRAH: Compromise anything but your core values. That’s what you say.
HOWARD: Short-term success is not going to build long-term value for anyone. And we live in an age where everything is based on the short term. And I think what we’re trying to do and what we’ve demonstrated is very –
OPRAH: You had to fight that in your own culture.
HOWARD: We did.
HOWARD: It’s hard to do.
EXCERPT: Howard on the Importance of a Leader to be Vulnerable
OPRAH: You say it’s important as a leader –
HOWARD: To be vulnerable.
OPRAH: — to be vulnerable. Where’d you learn that?
HOWARD: Well, when I stood up in front of people and I — I apologized and started crying that first week.
OPRAH: Which is not what CEO’s do.
HOWARD: Especially men. I think we’re taught as men to — you know, but I think vulnerability is transparency. And what I said earlier is I think the currency of leadership is transparency and you’ve got to be truthful. So I don’t think it’s — I don’t think you should be vulnerable every day.
HOWARD: But there are moments where you’ve got to share your soul and your conscience with people and show them who you are and not be afraid of it.
EXCERPT: Howard finding Starbucks at a “Spiritual Crisis” Upon His Return to the Company in 2008
OPRAH: Would you say that Starbucks was in a spiritual crisis?
HOWARD: Yes, I would.
HOWARD: And I would say that — I would also say that most of the problems we had were self-induced mistakes. And I stood in front of the entire employee base of the company, our partners, and said — apologized for, as leaders, that we had let them and their families down. But we were gonna return the company back to its glory days.
OPRAH: Okay. So in those days where you knew the company — the company had lost its way –
OPRAH: – was in its own spiritual crisis, did you debate whether or not you should jump back in or not? I know — I know –
HOWARD: First of all, I never planned to come back to Starbucks. But, again, this is about love.
OPRAH: Because you’d stepped down at CEO.
HOWARD: I did. This is about love. This is about passion. This is about responsibility. And it’s about leadership. And there was no second thought whatsoever. I came back to lead the company back. But I also needed help from others. And I needed people to believe. And we started doing things that were quite unorthodox, uncharacteristic of a company that was in trouble, especially during the financial crisis.
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