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Howard Behar On Leadership Lessons From Starbucks

Howard Behar’s career in business spans over 50 years, all in consumer oriented businesses, and most recently as a speaker, advisor, mentor, and bestselling author. He is also the former president of Starbucks – one of the world’s largest and most popular brands.

Howard joins Nick to discuss the leadership lessons he learned while acting as the overseer to such an empire, including why culture matters so much, and why people should be kept at the heart of things.


  • The most successful business enterprises are the ones who remember that while products are essential, the people who come for them, and the problems that it solves for them, should always be at the heart of matters.
  • Every organisation has its own culture. They usually arise naturally. The question we must ask is if the natural culture there is the one we strive for. If it isn’t, then we must change it from the top down.
  • The great leaders are the ones who like to challenged, and want to be held accountable. If our people are doing either, then we as leaders are doing the right thing.
  • Nothing in life happens without persistence. In the rivers of life there are rocks, and we strike them below the water line, but the most important thing is that we traverse them and keep moving on.


‘It wasn’t meant to be a brand. It was meant to be human in nature’

‘I got right away that it wasn’t about the coffee. It was about the people’

‘We wanted to be able to walk down the hallway, look everyone in the face, and say “We’re in it together”‘

‘The question to ask yourself is “Is this the culture I want?”‘


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Howard Behar – http://howardbehar.com


Nick Bradley is a renowned entrepreneur, investor, speaker, and business growth expert.

His background is growing and scaling Venture Capital and Private Equity backed businesses, across the UK, the US, and further afield.

Over the last decade, he has completed 117 acquisitions and 25 business exits with a combined valuation of over $5bn dollars.

His “Scale Up Your Business” podcast, which ranked #1 on iTunes’ business charts, has more than 350k downloads in over 130 countries.

His mission is to help business founders build valuable businesses and create life-changing exits so they can realise freedom, wealth, and impact.


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