You know I'm a sucker for a good leadership book. But this is one of those that stands out. I would easily put this book up there in the same sphere as Good to Great. As a church leader, I found almost every principle in this book valuable.
The Starbucks Experience is all about going beyond a great product and giving your customers an excellent experience. Joseph Michelli was given unfettered access to the Starbucks organization for about 2 years and his book shares 5 principles that he learned from the company.
1) Make it Your Own - Organizations benefit when all the members understand the DNA of the organization and look for ways to help make the organization succeed. Starbucks teaches all their partners the 5 Ways of Being - be welcoming, be genuine, be considerate, be knowledgeable, and be involved.
2) Everything Matters - God is in the details. The details make all the difference in keeping people. Details in atmosphere. Details in personality. The Starbucks purpose statement is not to serve a great cup of coffee (which they do), it is "To provide an uplifting experience that enriches people's daily lives." I love that!
3) Surprise & Delight - People love the prize in the Cracker Jacks. How can our church surprise people with something extra? As a pastor, this is where hospital visits and other personal touches are invaluable. I'm surpised how many times people are blown away that I would take time to swing by the hospital and visit with them and pray for them. The extra mile is always worth it!
4) Embrace Resistance - Don't run from criticism. Often times facing criticism and responding positively can turn a critic into a customer. Don't take it personally - be willing to learn from it.
5) Leave Your Mark - Leave your community and world a better place than you entered it.
This book really got me to thinking about my church. We serve up the basics pretty well. But when someone walks into our church for the first time, do they leave having had an incredible experience? Do they feel better, or at least feel like they met with God? Did they feel valued and cared for? Did their kids have a great time and can't wait to return? Were we friendly and helpful and sensitive to the fact that they don't know how we do things? How do we go the extra mile?
The Starbucks Experience is definitely going to shape my thinking for the near future. This may be the best non-church leadership book for churches in a long time. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
Joseph Michelli left a comment when I mentioned this book a few days ago (which was very cool). Joseph, if you end up reading this post, would you mind sharing some ways that come to your mind that churches can apply the principles from your book? (By the way, when I told my son that you left a comment, he turned to his friend and said, "Yeah, my Dad's a world-famous blogger." Thanks for helping me be "world-famous" in the eyes of my boy!)