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Leadership Skills with Former Starbucks Exec Howard Behar

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In This Podcast Episode

Rob McNealy interviews Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks Coffee Company North America and author of It’s Not about the Coffee, about his book, and his upcoming speaking engagement for BMA Colorado on April 8, 2009.

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Howard Behar’s Bio

Howard BeharHoward Behar is the former president of Starbucks Coffee Company North America and Starbucks Coffee International. He joined Starbucks in 1989, early in the company’s growth outside the Northwest region of the United States. In his start as vice president of sales and operations, he grew the retail business from 28 stores to more than 400 stores, and was eventually named president of Starbucks Coffee International in 1995. Behar’s leadership guided Starbucks through the opening its first location in Tokyo in 1996. Over the next three years he introduced the Starbucks brand across Asia and the United Kingdom. After a two-year hiatus, he returned to Starbucks as President of Starbucks North America until his retirement in January 2003. He also served as a director of the Company from 1996 to 2008.

Howard Behar began his career in the furniture business, where he discovered it was the people he loved, not the furniture. His sense of the customers as people, his concern for their needs, and his experience of being a part of people’s dreams for their homes and their lives helped him make the next successive moves in his retail career.

Behar is the author of It’s Not about the Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks. In this book, Behar discusses the importance of focusing on people over profits, and outlines 10 principles of personal leadership.

A frequent speaker on the topics of organizational and personal leadership, Mr. Behar serves on several profit and nonprofit boards, including Anna’s Linens, The Gap, Inc., Jewish Family Service of Seattle, and the Washington State Budget and Policy Center, and he is sponsoring a joint educational initiative with the University of Washington School of Social Work and the Business School. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Lynn, and he loves boating and spending time with his children and young grandchildren.

Upcoming Event

If you’re in Colorado, you can hear Howard Behar speak live at a speaking engagement for BMA Colorado on April 8, 2009 at 11:00 am.  There are also a few tickets left to a small breakfast with Behar at 7:15 am on April 8.

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