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It's Not About The Coffee: Lessons on Putting People First

Hosted By: Katherine Mehr
05/27/2009
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About this Podcast...

Have you thought about what’s at the root of your organization? what makes your company grow? what holds the key to open the door to success?

As Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks and author of It’s Not About the Coffee, said "we are in the people business serving coffee, not the coffee business serving people."

That’s right. It’s about the people. People are the key to running your organization successfully. Without the people, what would you have? Empty cups. If you grow people, you grow the business. Not to mention improving peoples lives.

"It is people—in the best of times and especially in the hardest of times—who will inspire you, sustain and grow your organization, and get you through," Behar said. And building trust with your people and within the organization will lead you to success.

Behar regards a business as a group of volunteers who lease their creativity for the good of the organization. "When any of us, from staff to managers to the CEO think of ourselves and our colleagues as people—not workers or assets—we discover a wealth of knowledge and talent," Behar said. "When we allow ourselves and others to think creatively and make independent decisions based on common goals, we become more fulfilled and we make a more worthwhile contribution."

Responsible for establishing Starbucks culture, Behar is one that puts people over profit. His people approach focuses on the idea that if you regard employees and customers as human beings and not as labor costs, you will achieve results beyond what is thought possible.

Join Human Resources IQ as Behar uncovers the journey of a small company that became one of America’s largest organizations.