As an editor, there is something incredibly special about working with an author on multiple projects over many years.  You develop a truly unique relationship—understanding what drives their creativity, their writing process, and learning how to rely on each other’s strengths to create great books.  For me, Joseph Michelli is one of those authors.  Joseph and I first started working together almost ten years ago with his book The Starbucks Experience. That was the first book I edited to hit multiple national bestseller lists—which, for an editor, is a truly exhilarating and gratifying experience. 

It was also the start of an amazing partnership with Joseph that has lasted over several books.  He has since written about some of the world’s most fascinating brands, including Zappos and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.   He has an uncanny ability to convince organizations to open their doors for him and, once he’s in, to unearth stories of individual employees who are willing to do extraordinary things in their day-to-day work to create phenomenal customer experiences.

When Joseph Michelli told me he was partnering with Starbucks for his follow up, Leading the Starbucks Way, I couldn’t have been more thrilled.  As with his first book about the world’s beloved coffee company, Joseph was given unprecedented access to Starbucks employees at all levels.  On our check-in calls, he would share exciting details about meeting with everyone from Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz and other top executives to the front line workers who create the true brand experience for customers.  He couldn’t wait to tell their stories—and I couldn’t wait to read them.

Leading the Starbucks Way explores what the leadership at Starbucks did to drive the company’s success during the economic downturn.  Think about it: So many iconic companies didn’t make it through the last decade, but here is one company that made it through some incredibly tough times, coming out better than where they started.  The first-hand stories in this book share just how the leadership inspired employees around the world to focus on a single mission: making Starbucks the best company it could be.  It’s been a great journey working with Joseph to get to this place, and I’m looking forward to seeing where our path takes us next.