The Magic Cup: A Conversation with Starbucks Founding President Howard Behar

Howard BeharIn this special session of ExecuNet Master Class, Howard Behar, Founding President of Starbucks International who helped build Starbucks from 28 stores to over 15,000, spanning five continents, shares deep insights and keen wisdom about how to lead through change, bring out the best in our colleagues and employees, and counteract the rampant negativity and distrust that permeates so many work cultures.

A son of immigrants, Howard watched in awe as his dad (who owned a Seattle market) put his customers first day-after-day, and treated each of them with dignity, compassion, and respect. Howard learned the power of compassion and trust as a young boy, and it informed and shaped him as a leader of one of the world’s most successful companies.

His touching new book, The Magic Cup, gives us more than we bargained for too. It offers a powerful parable of a business, a leader, and a team that discovers true magic found in leading and working with integrity and heart.

We are honored to present this honest warmth and hard-earned leadership wisdom.

Just like a warm cup of your favorite beverage (maybe it’s Starbuck’s Cinnamon Dolce Latte), Howard warms our hearts and inspires us to see our work, and our world, differently. We hope you enjoy the recording of this special session of ExecuNet Master Class.

Here’s what some attendees of the live event had to say:

  • “Good perspective on the purpose driven life and that Servant Leadership is a path that can be very successful.”
  • “Far too many executives feel that their employees are just widgets and are incapable of seeing a greater good or goal. The examples in the presentation may help them see business differently.”
  • “This is part of most new management and leadership theories that are on the table now in 2017, to move forward and get better with what we do (as professionals, as executives, as leaders, etc.), to our community, society (people) and to our environment (our precious planet).”
  • “Good perspective on people-focused approach paired with successful business outcomes.”
  • “Every leader needs to hear this.”

Howard Behar is a renowned business leader, author, speaker, and mentor who has influenced the lives of numerous men and women at all stages of their careers and at all levels and roles.

Shaped by his experiences working in his parents Seattle market, schooled in operations and management in consumer-oriented retail business, and part of the leadership triumvirate that built the Starbucks brand, Behar is the ultimate “servant leader” who is known for such memorable lessons as “The Person Who Sweeps the Floor Should Choose the Broom” and “Only the Truth Sounds Like the Truth.”

For 21 years Behar led Starbuck’s domestic business as President of North America, and he became the founding President of Starbucks International opening the very first store outside of North America in Japan. During his tenure, he participated in the growth of the company from only 28 stores to over 15,000 stores spanning five continents. He served on the Starbucks Board of Directors for 12 years before retiring.

Howard now serves on the boards of several for-profit and non-profit organizations, including Education Element, iD Tech, The School of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University. He is on the advisory boards of Anthos Capital, University of Washington Foundation, and a Trustee for The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation.

Behar lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife Lynn, and enjoys spending time with his children and five grandchildren. Boating is his favorite hobby, exploring the waterways from Seattle to Alaska.



William Flamme

William Flamme

William Flamme is ExecuNet's Marketing Content Manager, where he is responsible for developing engaging career, job search, and leadership insight and delivering executive-level content across the various properties under the ExecuNet brand. Prior to joining ExecuNet in 2008, Will earned a master's degree in education and taught fifth grade and sixth grade. As a teacher, he deepened his appreciation for the written word and mastered skills necessary for managing writers who sometimes view deadlines as homework.

No Replies to "The Magic Cup: A Conversation with Starbucks Founding President Howard Behar"