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Business, Politics & Society

Don't Manage. Lead.

Howard Schultz

Lesson time 07:16 min

People don’t want to be managed. Howard gives advice on how to effectively lead your team.

Howard Schultz
Business Leadership
Former Starbucks CEO shares lessons from nearly 40 years of leading one of the world’s top brands.
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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rose from a childhood in public housing to leading a company that revolutionized the way the world drinks coffee. With no formal business education, he relied on his values while growing a 13-store chain into a global brand with more than 250,000 employees. In his 90-minute video series, Howard shares what he’s learned about business leadership and being an entrepreneur.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Great lessons and very comforting and encouraging. Howard gave many things to think about and interesting perspectives from his life experiences.

Innovation is at the heart of what every entrepreneur should do.

Really fantastic class for entrepreneurs starting up and established managers and C-level execs. Quick info (if just starting up) and/or reminders (if a seasoned manager) of best practices.

Howard was great on many levels. Approachable, honest, positive, believable. Seems like a fantastic leader who engenders trust & respect. What I aim for every day. The crisis segment was especially helpful.


Cédric J.

Leçon 10 : Don't manage. LEAD. Howard Schultz. La personne doit sentir ses valeurs et apprécier. Et le manager, c'est son job, de créer l'atmosphère, qui est plus grand que tout le monde. C'est comme une équipe DE SPORT, tout le monde sert dans l'équipe. Travailler plus dur qu'eux pour achever le projet et l'objectif. Soit honnête avec la personne. ÊTRE une grande entreprise, pas médiocre, mais importante. Établir une complicité avec ses employés, leur demande comment ça va, et aller plus en détail.

Juvent H.

Don't Lead, Manage. Leadership starts in hiring; if you hire people who you think are not smart, you are always going to manage them. Hire instead people who are smarter than you so that you will fall in respect for them, listen to them, and have the willingness to follow what they do even when you don't understand. Jobs: We hire smart people so that they can tell us what to do, not the other way around. Mark Zuckerberg: I only hire people who I would work for myself.

Lameen A.

Important lessons for leadership here. I came from a place where micro-management was the norm and had to fight it in my own way to ensure that I delivered what clients really wanted and had been asking for years.

Lameen A.

I think this was one of the most interesting class. It resonates very well with me. In fact after having worked for the UN for over 14 years, it was some inconsistencies that I witnessed that led me to create my mentoring/coaching venture entitled, Honest Management, as an antithesis to dis-honest management. Some of the things Howard talks about here like, leading, not managing , being honest with staff, continuous assessment, setting the bar of excellence, letting staff know that they are responsible to customers (clients), resonate with my experience and vision.

c.t. M.

This isn't textbook info. You must learn this the hard way or you can listen to Howard. It's simply easier to listen to Howard.

A fellow student

Howard schultz is just great!. He is a very natural and pleasant person which helps him to transfer that to his leadership style.

A fellow student

Most people are conflict avoidant....because they don't want to be honest. They make excuses for their bad performance or lack of drive and high standards. So they see a conversation about their inconsistencies as an assault on their mediocrity. Low educated staff are only motivated by the money, not about personal growth, professional development etc. Its true. But I like how he phrases the conversations he has with staff he doesn't believe are a good fit.

Pureum K.

Great words of wisdom. Be a leader! Set high expectations and let them know. This has to be the case everywhere but it is seldom the case. I look around the places that I have worked or friend's much mediocrity and lack of feedback. Guess better start with me about standing high standards and giving good feedback :D

Kris S.

Don't Manage. Lead. I totally agree with the title of this module! In my nearly 40 years working experience the best experiences I've had have been with leaders and the worst have been with managers. My comment is related to a question on the supplemental material that asked me to reflect on my own experience with strengths of good leaders and weaknesses of the worst. After some careful consideration I identified trust and confidence as plusses and betrayal and cowardice as detriments. In a nutshell, what I value in a leader is exactly what I value in my friends, family and neighbors. So basic but so important!

John socialphds F.

Thank you Howard. Listening to you speak explains simply to me why you are so successful.