How to Be a Better Boss: Leadership in Coffee Operations

By Andrew Russo
The following post is an excerpt from Fresh Cup Magazine

pexels-photo-302889.jpeg

In 2005 I stood in front of thirty soldiers, all with more experience than me, and was introduced as their leader. I was barely twenty-one years old, standing in front of a wide range of people of different ages, education levels, and socio-demographic backgrounds. Soon we would jump out of airplanes together, deploy together—and they expected me to lead them through it all. Sound intimidating? It is.

In coffee, taking charge of experienced baristas, roasters, and buyers is equally intimidating. How a team is led can make or break the experience.

Continue reading

Video: How Wasted Soap Became a Catalyst for Change

nca_web_med_convention_kayongo

The theme of the National Coffee Association 2017 Convention is “innovation” – inspired not only by our host city Austin, TX, but the transformations and transitions we’re seeing across the coffee industry.

Wherever it’s found, innovation can be fueled by the power of “weak connections”  (and strong coffee). In other words, exposure to fresh perspectives through conversation and acquaintances – such as networking with more than 700 coffee industry executives – helps your brain combine different ideas in new ways.

Because often, inspiration comes from the most unlikely places. For instance: leftover soap can catalyze life-saving change.

Here, Derreck Kayongo, Global Soap Project Founder & CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, shares how learning about the hospitality industry’s considerable waste led him to create a global humanitarian initiative.

Continue reading

Today’s International Coffee Organization (ICO): What You Should Know

By Bill Murray, President, NCA
@Bill_CoffeeAssn

Editor’s note: The ICO is currently seeking a new Executive Director, after the untimely passing of the organization’s previous leader, Roberio Silva. The names and details of endorsed candidates must be received by February 23, 2017. Learn more

snip20160928_33

Last week, the International Coffee Organization (or ICO) held one of its semi-annual meetings in London. Delegates gathered from around the world to discuss coffee-related issues, plan the future of the ICO itself, and explore collaboration. The ICO serves as a useful forum for the coffee sector – with input from the NCA – for collaboration.

Continue reading

Finding Answers to Today’s Top 5 Challenges

By Kyra Auffermann, National Coffee Association

coffee-1548771_1920-1

Our industry is facing a range of unprecedented challenges. The coffee supply chain is incredibly complex – and interconnected. This can create a lot of uncertainty for businesses trying to succeed in such a competitive market.

But with a shift in perspective – and by asking the right questions – potential problems can become opportunities.

Check out the following list of the top challenges facing coffee companies today. (And if you’re interested in learning more, join leaders from across the industry at the NCA Coffee Summit, Oct. 26-28, Miami, FL.)

Continue reading

5 Ways to Build a Bold Crew

By Chad Norman, Chief Marketing Officer, Catch Talent

boldcrew

After reading How to Make Cold Brew Coffee here on the The First Pull, I got to thinking not only about my budding addiction to the delicious nectar (we have cold brew on tap at our coworking space), but also my upcoming session at the NCA Coffee Summit, October 26-28. The blog post inspired me to make cold brew in my home, and when I land in Miami this Fall I hope to inspire others to build a bold crew in the office!

OK, maybe that’s the caffeine talking, but stay with me…

People are at the heart of every business, and the most important asset in the organization. Once you have that killer team, that killer crew, they not only love working with each other, they begin to attract others just like them.

You need a bold, confident, proud team willing to go tell the world about what it’s like to work at your company. After all, once you have a great brew right in your own home, that’s your standard. That’s what you seek out. That’s the ONLY thing that will do.

Attracting talent in today’s world isn’t simply sourcing and recruiting, it’s marketing. And just like in the consumer world, the best marketing centers around stories – in this case, employee stories. If you build a team that truly understands how it feels to work at your company, your pot will always run over with amazing talent.

Here are five ways you can improve your employer brand, attract great talent, and build a bold crew to attract the next batch!

Continue reading

Overcome All: An Open Letter From Jason Redman

The 5 Principles of Elite Performers – and 6 Tenants to Live By

Editor’s note: Jason Redman, former Navy SEAL, author of “The Trident,” and founder of SOF Spoken, delivered the keynote presentation at the NCA 2016 Annual Convention in San Diego. He shared a story about his journey into Iraq and back – immediately putting any bad day at the office in perspective. (Pro tip: “If you’re not being shot at, it’s probably not so bad.”)

convention-logo-cropped

Due to overwhelming response from Convention attendees, we’re posting the following letter Redman wrote to Bill Murray, NCA CEO, following the event. 

Dear Bill and all the amazing members of the NCA:

I wanted thank all of you for your amazing hospitality and FANTASTIC reception I received at the NCA annual conference.

From every company and individual I met, I was treated like a member of the coffee family. Thank you all for allowing me to come in as a keynote speaker and share my story and message. I truly feel blessed to be able to spread my message of the five principles of elite performers.

Due to time restraints I was unable to cover my six tenets that I strive to follow in my personal life, so I have included a summary of both the five principles and six tenets for everyone’s review.

Continue reading

What Does Leadership Mean For the Coffee Industry?

nong-vang-587780-unsplash (2)

Coffee – a beverage with a history of hundreds of years – is in the midst of a period of unprecedented change.

That change has unlocked deeper value and choice for business and consumers,even as it presents unprecedented challenges that continually shape the headlines: Climate change. La roya. Sustainability. GMO legislation. Gender inequality. Volatile prices.

All businesses struggle to identify and train leaders. But for the coffee sector, leaders deal with a complex array of variables, threats and opportunities – making leadership essential for the industry’s future.

At the NCA Convention, we talk a lot about professional leaders and industry leadership.

But what exactly does leadership mean today?

Here, 5 members of the NCA Board of Directors share why leadership matters to the coffee industry:  Continue reading

5 Lessons to Live By

Decorated U.S. Navy SEAL Lieutenant Jason Redman was critically wounded in 2007 while leading a mission in Iraq. His team was ambushed and he was struck by machine-gun fire at point-blank range.

During the intense recovery that followed, Redman became a symbol for wounded warriors everywhere. In 2013, he released his book, “The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader.”

“When I learned the theme of this year’s National Coffee Association Annual Convention was ‘Leadership in a Changing World,’ I immediately thought of Jason,” says John Boyle, president & CEO, Massimo Zanetti Beverage, USA. “Jason is an inspiration to us – not only because of the selfless sacrifices he made on behalf of this country, but because of his unwavering courage and strength when all odds were against him. Jason never gave up. And his family, who stood by his side and supported him, never gave up.”

“The lesson for all of us is that anything is possible as long as we have a genuine commitment, coupled with the drive and passion, to achieve our goals,” Boyle says. “Successful leaders such as Jason, who exemplify such strength, character, and honor, move others and bring out the best in them so they also can do great things.”

Redman will share his experiences at the 2016 NCA Annual Convention in San Diego, CA, March 19. His keynote presentation is proudly sponsored by Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA.

Here, Redman explains the tenets he lives by today.

Continue reading