This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

Join us for an inspiring interview that takes you on a journey of entrepreneurial growth and leadership evolution! 

In this episode, we sit down with Michael, a visionary entrepreneur who started as a humble barista and, over the past 28 years, transformed a single coffee shop into a thriving business empire. 

Discover the power of falling in love with your work, the challenges and triumphs of transitioning from a startup mindset to effective leadership, and the secrets behind fostering a team culture that drives results. 

From the grind of entrepreneurship to the art of building trust, he shares invaluable insights that will reshape your perspective on leadership, encourage your personal growth, and leave a lasting impact on your business’s journey. 

Tune in and unlock the keys to success through authenticity, transparency, and a commitment to leaving a meaningful legacy. 


You can find Michael at the below links

In the interview, Michael shares

  • “I fell in love with the business. I fell in love with being a barista. I loved showing up to work, making drinks, and putting a smile on people’s faces in the morning.”
  • “We shook hands and agreed to form a new company. That company was formed in June of 1998, and we’ve been doing business that way ever since.”
  • “Grind was written to capture the ethos of startups, while Grow picks up in the progression from bootstrapping entrepreneur to effective leader.”
  • “The transition from being an obsessive entrepreneur to an effective leader is a slow and long journey, often taking a decade or more to accomplish.”
  • “Understanding that you don’t have all the answers is key to growing the business beyond the bootstrapping entrepreneurial phase.”
  • “Your best mentor is your team. Bringing them into your growth journey allows for real feedback and progress.”
  • “Creating an environment where people feel okay with bringing you feedback starts with explaining that you need their input to become a more effective leader.”
  • “Leaders must be vulnerable enough to say they’re not perfect, they have a lot to work on, and they want feedback to become more effective.”
  • “Creating trust as a leader means investing first in your team members, helping them unlock their inner superpowers and strengths.”
  • “True leadership goes beyond profits. It’s about improving the human condition, using resources to create a legacy that positively impacts the world.”