Winston Churchill was undeniably one of the great leaders of history—was he a servant leader? In a new episode of the Serve to Lead podcast, Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks Coffee Company International, explores the Churchill conundrum and other aspects of servant leadership. Behar speaks with unique authority, pioneering the practice of servant leadership at Starbucks, one of the world’s great enterprises. Behar is also the author of the bestseller, It’s Not About The Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks.
Howard Behar started working at Starbucks in 1989 when the company had just begun to venture outside the American northwest region. Initially serving as vice president of sales and operations, he grew the retail business from 28 stores to more than 400 by the time he was named president of Starbucks Coffee International in 1995. Under Behar’s leadership, Starbucks opened its first location in Tokyo in 1996. Following this historic opening, over the next three years he introduced the Starbucks brand across Asia and the United Kingdom. After a two-year hiatus, he returned to Starbucks as President of Starbucks North America until his retirement in March 2007. He also served for twelve years as a director of the company.