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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz shares inspiring leadership wisdom with Hearsay Social

“Everybody must have a voice,” urged Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to the Hearsay Social team during a surprise afternoon visit. No matter your age, seniority, or role—you play a crucial part in executing on the vision of your company. “Don’t let mediocrity become the standard.”

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih

Mr. Schultz encouraged the Hearsay Social team to continue fighting for the absolute best at this critical stage in our company’s growth, which he likened to the time-sensitive “imprinting” stage of a child’s growth. In addition, he proclaimed that every business from Starbucks to Hearsay Social must heed three key points to be successful today:

  1. Every business must provide a unique value proposition to the market. For Starbucks, that’s providing quality coffee and giving back to the community. For Hearsay Social, it’s empowering our customers to be highly successful social marketers.
  2. Digital and social technologies represent a tidal wave of change utterly transforming the way companies do business. A clear innovator in the Fortune 500, Starbucks asserted its commitment to understanding and embracing these new technologies when it appointed Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih to its board of directors this past December.
  3. In the 21st century, customers only support those companies that share their values. At Starbucks, Mr. Schultz’s aim is to “manage through a lens of humanity.” Positive revenue growth at the corporation must go hand in hand with positive growth in local communities around the world to make it all worthwhile.

Thank you for all the great advice, Mr. Schultz, and we can’t wait to see you again!

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Ronny Kerr

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