Starbucks–America’s Educator

One paragraph in the book Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (Ransom House, 2012) stirs fire in me.

“…Starbucks—like a handful of other companies—has succeeded in teaching the kind of life skills that schools, families and communities have failed to provide. With more than 137,000 current employees and more than one million alumni, Starbucks is now, in a sense, one of the nation’s largest educators.” (page 130)

I have not seen the curriculum, but it sounds like Emotional Quotient (EQ) is at the core. They are teaching essential competencies: Self-awareness, Self-motivation, Self-control. Duhigg says, “…willpower is the single most important keystone habit for individual success.” Starbucks teaches willpower as a habit.

I am a capitalist. The fact that Starbucks (and other companies) is providing those benefits pleases me. I have said for a long time that I wanted to pastor a church where the unchurched would choose to attend because they were benefitting in their careers, marriages and life skills even if they did not presently buy into the being saved part of the Good News being preaching. A cup of water in His Name sometimes looks like teaching life skills.

Starbucks is doing what the family and church should be doing. I understand why the fragmented, dysfunctional family isn’t getting the job done. I suspect that any church that captures this vision will be both attractive and sticky—people are going to attend and they will stay. It is the catalyst to a movement that Millennials will join.

I would like to talk with you about—The Power of Habit.  I encourage leaders to read it.

©2014 D. Dean Benton

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