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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Build a Business That Lasts

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.

It's been a pleasure watching Starbucks grow. Mr. Schultz has done an excellent job communicating the vision and history. Loved that he prepared his favorite method of making a cup of Aged Sumatra.

Howard provided his strategic insights and practices in an understandable and down to earth manner. Kudos to his great leadership lesson.

Great masterclass. Carying abou the people is so important. Thanks for reminding me there.

An honest approach to the ups and downs of business development and the need to remain humble but driven. This class was not the reason behind purchasing an all access pass but is now at the top of my list!


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.

John socialphds F.

If you listen to nothing else listen to what he says in the "establish a standard of excellence" section of Dont Manage. Lead. This section would have saved me so many hours of headache and loss.

Meg N.

I've been on both sides of the interview process, and I agree with Tanner, in this day and age it is not acceptable to many to ask them about kids, spouse, home life, etc., because there has been too much misuse of that information, and many feel that those are code words for things they imagine will become misuse of the information.... but if you're in a company where you would like to know the people you work with as people, those who resist being known may not be a good fit. And the questions can be designed not to be anything that could be misused.. ...

Ekin Ö.

Some people want to be micromanaged. And if you're working hard to create a self-sustainable business, you should probably avoid those people. :-) Otherwise, you'll always have to put extra work for such employees.

A fellow student

Good lesson. The ending wasn't great for me. I interview several people every year, this day in age it is not acceptable to ask them about kids, spouse, home life, etc... I agree knowing who they are as a person is the most important part. But I do not think interview questions are a good way to go about it.

Matthew P.

As someone who has managed before, I have to say that I have heard many times before in lectures from great business leaders and speakers that we should not manage but lead. But is that true only for other high performing business people? I had a team of 12 at one point which consisted both of business professionals as well as unschooled people who treated this just like a job for some cash and didn't care at all about the company. Of course though, you need lower wage people who were our clerks, our inventory handlers, our shipping dock people, etc. Can you truly say they don't need to be micromanaged? Do these lower income people need more management? Or is it just harder to find people who view such lower wage jobs as a career that we appreciate?

Mark S.

I like the way this is expressed, with the emphasis on leadership rather than management.

Tom B.

I have found first to have the other person's welfare always in mind, then be direct honest without being harsh and help them figure out what needs to be done. It is harder for someone to get mad at you if you are helping them understand what they need to do! Not impossible, just harder!


Sounds so easy, but it's a helluva work to do so. People start with small, very inconspicuous habits and if you don't catch the signs early on, you'll have a lot of fun to reinstall a common ground of rules and stigmas that define a great habitat for an outstanding performance. So it's being in the mud and playing good cop, bad cop. Guidance comes in many ways and many faces.