A Call to Adventure with Starbucks!

22 Sep

This week was our Call to Adventure with Starbucks Global Supply Chain leadership.

Our adventure took place on the flanks of Mt. Rainier, a beautiful an scenic mountain 2 hours outside of Seattle.

Mt. Rainier









Always love finding new and strange things as we engage new mountains in obscure areas around the globe. Here near Rainier National Park there were plenty of interesting cultural elements:










Now, for the adventure itself…

Our first day included a “Silent Summit” with three essential questions posited to each team member. Questions were designed to tap into proudest leadership moments of the past, a look at the core values needed to achieve personal and professional goals in the future, and a look back on the legacy each would like to leave behind, as a father, mother, friend, executive. etc… this day was all about personal leadership and identifying the core “ethos” or “Philosophy of Engagement” each have acquired thus far and hope to refine for the future.

Day 2 included an interpersonal technical challenges never before performed. Our “structured experience”, called “The Bucket Brigade” required all team members to transfer 5 gallons of water up the mountain, passing through five stations–each with their own unique challenge.

Stage 1. The Bucket Brigade











Stage 3. The Bucket Brigade











Each challenge required the team to work both technically and interpersonally to achieve their goal–one that included efficiency (time spent in transfer) and effectiveness (total % volume transferred).

This exercise exposed the team’s weaknesses and demonstrated the power of changing up interpersonal dynamics and not just technical fixes.

Our afternoon session was designed to showcase teamwork and synergy. For this we took the team to the top flanks of Pinnacle Peak for a “roped-in” simulated crevasse challenge. Throw into the mix blind folds and muted partners stressed the teams and got them thinking deeply about their communication patterns during times of difficulty and danger. Trust, patience, understanding, conflict, focus, clear communication, etc… were just some of the themes explored this day.

Read to Rope In




















Our final quest was to get all teams on the same rope with Sr. VP leading his new team onto a bluff looking our towards the summit. This took time and patience on everyone’s part, but success prevailed.

An amazing week with the Starbucks leadership team and fantastic work at the personal, interpersonal, and team levels.

This team came together, flushed our the kinks in their interpersonal and team systems, and came out a different and more refined team of leaders. In our final debrief, each team member wrote and shared their individual “Hero’s Ethos”, which will lead to the building of a collected ethos for the team as a next step.

A grand thanks to our other team leaders (Jeff Evans and David Fedler) for a remarkable adventure and opportunity to make a difference in the personal and professional lives of these leaders.










And thanks to the senior leaders who made this all possible.

Deverl, Sylvia, Bruce, Dave and Jeff











Looking forward to our next call to adventure!