Everything Is Different

Dr. David Jeremiah


Chances are you’ve had a cup of coffee today, and the chances are the word “Starbucks” was on the cup. The now famous coffee company began in the Pike Place Market in Seattle in 1971. Since then, Starbucks has experienced the ups and downs of the economy, occasional missteps in corporate management, and the pressures of a rapidly expanding global enterprise. Despite all the changes and challenges, Starbucks persevered and developed a loyal customer base. Today it’s the largest coffeehouse company in the world with 32,660 outlets in 83 countries. One of its secrets is a little green booklet about the size of a passport that tucks neatly into the apron of every employee. The Green Apron Book expresses the company’s core values, which it wants to brew into every cup of coffee.

“As we grew from a small to a much larger group of individuals,” wrote Howard Behar, the former president of the company, “The Little Green Book was a way to capture and write down the things that mattered to us about our mission and the kind of company we were creating.” He said, “The principles are literally brewed into the way we work, make decisions, confront problems, care about one another, persevere, and create opportunities for our future.”1

When companies, leaders, and people have enduring sets of core principles, they can withstand the onslaught of change that comes with passing seasons. A written reminder of our foundational values is akin to a ship’s anchor. It provides stability in weather fair or rough.