Former Starbucks president Howard Behar talked one-on-one with KING 5's Mark Wright, touching on several topics: Seattle's proposed head tax, the Starbucks Philadelphia incident, and servant leadership.
Howard Behar joined Starbucks in 1989 when the company had only 28 stores. Today, it has nearly 28,000. Behar, along with Howard Schultz and Orin Smith, is credited with building Starbucks into what it is today.
Behar shared his reaction to the April arrest of two black men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.
“It tore my heart out,” Behar said. “I’ve been gone for a long time, and even I said where did I miss it?”
He called Starbuck’s upcoming day of training “the beginning of a journey.”
Behar also weighed in on the City of Seattle’s plan to fund homelessness initiatives through a head tax.
“I don’t think it’s the right way to do it," said Behar. "I don’t think you take a certain group of businesses, whether it’s size or not, and say you’re going to pay for everybody else.”
Behar thinks it would be fairer if all businesses paid a smaller amount.
Behar also talks about his passion — servant leadership. It’s the focus of his book “It’s Not About the Coffee.”
Behar’s advice to all bosses in America?
“Care about your people (employees) before they care about you,” he said. “Your number-one role as a boss is to serve your people and to help them accomplish the goals they have for their lives.”
Behar says if you do that, your employees will help you achieve what you want as an organization.