10 Principles of Personal Leadership


It comes to no surprise that I love coffee. Hence, the title of my site is Brewing Ideas. I have always been fascinated by coffee. Not with only drinking coffee per se. But with the activities I get to do while drinking coffee. I get to have good conversations with family and friends over a cup of coffee. I get to do my online work drinking coffee. If I need to work late nights, a good brewed cup of coffee is always a good companion.

This leads me to the topic of today, Starbucks. No, I am not going to write how I like Starbucks coffee but the inspiration behind the Starbucks brand. Howard Behar, former President of Starbucks International wrote a book called It’s Not About The Coffee. During his many years as a senior executive at Starbuck. Howard Behar established the Starbucks culture, which stresses the importance of people over profits. He coached hundreds of leaders at every level and helped the company grow into a world-renowned brand.

Here are some values that he and his team at Starbuck practiced which I want to share with all of you.

10 Principles of Personal Leadership

1. Know Who You Are: Wear One Hat

Success is directly related to the clarity and honesty about who you are, who you are not, where you can want to go, and how you are going to get there. When organizations are clear about their values, purpose, and goals, they find the energy and passion to do great things.

2. Know Why You Are Here: Do It Because It’s Right, Not Because It’s Right For Your Résumé.

The path to success comes from doing things for the right reasons. You can’t succeed if you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish and without everyone being aligned with your goal. Look for the purpose and passion in yourself and the people you lead. If they are not there, do something.

3. Think Independently. The Person Who Sweeps the Floor Should Choose the Broom

People are not “assets,” they are human beings who have the capacity to achieve results beyond what is thought possible. We need to get rid of the rules – real and imagined – and encourage independent thinking of others and ourselves.

4. Build Trust: Care, Like You Really Mean It

Caring is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength, and it can’t be faked — within an organization, with the people you serve, or in our local or global communities. Without trust and caring,  you will never know what could have been possible. Without freedom from fear, we can’t dream and we can’t reach our potential.

5. Listen For The Truth: The Walls Talk

Put the time into listening, even to what’s not said, and amazing results will follow. You will know what your customers want, you will know why the passion is missing from your organization, and you will learn solutions to problems that have been sitting there waiting to be picked.

6. Be Accountable: Only the Truth Sounds Like the Truth

No secrets, no lies of omission,  no hedging and dodging. Take responsibility and say what needs to be said, with care and respect.

7. Take Action: Think Like A Person of Action, Act Like a Person of Thought

Find the sweet spot of passion, purpose and persistence. “It’s all about the people” isn’t an idea, it’s an action. Feel, do, think. Find the balance, but act.

8. Face Challenge: We Are Human Beings First

Use all the principle to guide you during the hardest times. If the challenge is too big, if you find yourself stuck, take smaller bites. But remember to put people first, and you will find the guidance you need.

9. Practice Leadership: The Big Noise and the Still, Small Voice

Leading can be the noisy “I’m here!” kind of thing. But don’t ever forget that leaders are just ordinary human beings. Don’t let the noise crowd out the truth. Listen to your still, small voice. Let quiet be your guide.

10. Dare To Dream: Say Yes, the Most Powerful Word in the World

Big dreams means big goals, big hopes, big joys. Say yes, and enjoy all that you are doing, and help others to do the same.

Hope this helps in your roles leaders in an organization, in a community or even in families. I guess the same principles of personal leadership applies to all forms activities. I wanted to share these principle of personal leadership because I want to understand and grow in this same manner in my own personal life.

I do hope you enjoyed these tidbits of advise of leadership and may you find some use for them. Cheers!

Giancarlo G.
Roaming Entrepreneur, Travel Writer, Upcoming #1 Best Selling Author, Creative Designer, Travel Photographer, Extreme Sports Fanatic, Travels with a Little Pig, Goal Oriented and 100% Coffee Addict!

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