Starbucks Leadership Lab

This morning while drinking my Starbucks coffee (supplied at work) in my cool Starbucks mug (supplied by me), I read a great article at Fast Company magazine about the leadership practices at Starbucks. Late last year Starbucks held a conference in Houston for nearly 10,000 store managers and 5,000 live coffee plants (more on the... Continue Reading →

Knights of the Round Table

I attend two standing meetings each Thursday.  The first is my weekly staff meeting with my three direct report managers.  The second is a cross-departmental meeting focused on operational issues. Both meetings are remarkable and I look forward to attending.  Yes, poor meetings abound in the business world.  Yet these two meetings work and for very... Continue Reading →

Ask The Fool, Be The Fool

These days I find myself digging through my Organizational Development Toolbox.  So many great tools that I have used successfully in the past and will again.   One group of tools involve creativity.   It is very human to be creative.  All leaders need a level of creativity.  It is one of the items that separates a leader from... Continue Reading →


We begin in silence. Then we speak.  Each of us has much to say.  While others speak, we prepare to speak again.   Are we hearing each other?  Are we reaching a point of understanding or decision?  Often our talk is overwhelming and more talking is not the answer.  At times we need silence to communicate. Silence as a tool... Continue Reading →

Effective Communication: Step into the Circle

I attended a meeting recently and saw something different as I entered the room.  Instead of the typical long rectangular conference table there were just chairs arranged in rough circles, one within the other (see illustration below).  Immediately I knew this meeting was starting well.  As leaders we can not dismiss the importance of room layout... Continue Reading →

Squirrel Moments and Leadership Communication

Today I will defend the squirrel.  Thanks to the movie "UP" we have a new term to describe those moments when we get distracted and off topic.  In the movie, thanks to a device around the neck, dogs can talk.  One of the main characters, Dug the Dog, talks in simple terms as we would expect... Continue Reading →

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