Archive for July, 2008

“Life-Saving” at Starbucks

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

How Starbucks Saved My Life

I just finished reading a great book that very effectively describes the power of engagement from the employee perspective.  How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else is a highly entertaining story of Michael Gates Gill, a Yale-educated, former J. Walter Thompson advertising executive with a highly privileged family background. At age 63, Gill found himself in a predicament: his business and marriage were failing, an affair had resulted in the birth of a newborn son, and he was diagnosed with a brain-tumor (without health care coverage). Serendipitously, he finds himself having a coffee in a Manhattan Starbucks during a new employee recruiting event. He strikes up a conversation with the manager and gets offered a job. Working at Starbucks turns out to not only be a temporary “life-saver” for Gill, but ultimately turns out to be the best job he has ever had!

The book is a very engaging read and I recommend it highly. After reading the book, I noticed that the AMA had done an interview with Gill on their always interesting Edgewise podcast series. You can read more and listen to the podcast here.