AI Expert. Professor, University of Oxford. Director, Future of Humanity Institute & Director, Strategic Artificial Intelligence Research Center
Few people embody purposeful, conscious leadership like business speaker Howard Behar. As the executive who took Starbucks worldwide, Behar launched an international phenomenon on the principle that leaders should be servants. He now mentors other business leaders and offers guidance to everyone through his bestselling books. Organizations wishing to hear from a true business visionary build their events around Behar’s keynote addresses.
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The founding president of Starbucks International, business speaker Howard Behar is passionate about leadership, integrity, and coffee. From his parents’ shop to the head of an international juggernaut, keynote speaker Howard Behar has helped redefine business for our times.
For Howard Behar, work means more than simply holding down a job, and leadership means serving the greater good. As a child, he saw his parents mix business and purpose while helping out at the family’s Seattle mom-and-pop store. His brother later opened a furniture store; Behar lent a hand and built a successful career in the retail sector. When Starbucks sought to expand beyond its Pacific Northwest roots, Behar’s experience and servant-leadership model were a perfect fit.
For 21 years, Behar served as Starbuck’s President of North America; he also became the founding president of Starbucks International. Under Behar’s leadership, Starbucks grew to 15,000 stores on five continents, creating an international mass market for gourmet coffee. Upon stepping down, he served on the company’s board for twelve years before officially retiring.
Today, Behar sits on the boards of Education Element, iD Tech, Anthos Capital, and several non-profit organizations. He is especially interested in developing tomorrow’s business leaders, advocating his servant-leader model as a guide to responsive, effective management.
Behar distilled his wisdom in 2008’s bestselling It’s Not About the Coffee: Lessons on Leadership from a Life at Starbucks. The book’s popularity opened up a new career: always an engaging speaker, Howard Behar was now a sought-after keynote presenter. His second book, The Magic Cup: A Business Parable About a Leader, a Team, and the Power of Putting People First, appeared in 2016.
Howard Behar was the president of Starbucks North America for 21 years, and was a key person for the company as he led the international expansion by opening the first store in Japan. He is one of the people who best knows the secrets behind the success of Starbucks and its meteoric expansion worldwide. During his tenure they went from a few stores to more than 15,000. In this speech, Howard will discuss the strategies that brought Starbucks to disrupt the coffee industry and become one of the largest companies in the world.
Howard Behar has said countless times that Starbucks' real business is not coffee, but people. This type of thinking, instilled throughout the Starbucks model under servant leadership principles, is one of the keys to its success. In this keynote speech, Howard will talk about the importance of serving others, that the boss's role is to make his employees prosper and develop as people to their full potential and the principles of servant leadership.
One of the reasons that explain Starbucks success is the great loyalty to the brand that its consumers and clients have. In this conference, Howard will discuss the marketing and consumer experience secrets behind Starbucks' success and how they were able to create such a powerful and beloved brand worldwide.
Starbucks' organizational culture is based around its values and mission to provide excellent customer service that keeps you coming back over and over again. In this conference, Howard will talk about the importance of people in building a great company and how to establish a clear and successful corporate mission and values that employees want to follow and feel proud of.
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