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July 18, 2003

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Beans

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 6:14 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Beans: Four Principles for Running a Business in Good Times and Bad by Leslie A. Yerkes & Charles Decker, Jossey-Bass, 176 Pages, $19.95 Hardcover, July 2003, ISBN 0787967645
This new book by Leslie Yerkes and Charles Decker tells the story of Jack and Dianne Hartman and the (real but fictionally-named) El Espresso, their highly successful coffee shop in Seattle. Its a little shop, definitely an underdog in the city where Starbucks originated. But, every day, there is a line out the door of loyal customers waiting sometimes up to 20 minutes for an El Espresso espresso. However, after a large dot-com company left the neighborhood, business at the El has declined, and the Hartmans are baffled by what to do about it.
Jack and Dianne meet with consultant Carol Wisdom, who observes them and the business in action for a couple of days. She then tells Jack and Dianne that they can solve their problems by going back to the principles that initially made their business so successful: The Four PsPassion, People, Personal, Productand The Eye of Intention.
The book has many helpful notes at the end, including notes from Carol Wisdoms notebook, and discussion questions that you can use in a group reading of the book (which the authors recommend doing). Also, the authors have included a fun appendix containing A Short History of Coffee Through the Ages. This is a fast read (certainly an excellent airplane or beach read) which will show you how to gain perspective on your business and your role in the business, and how to be inspired to reach success whether youre just starting out or recovering from a set-back.