Business, Politics & Society

Focus and Get in the Mud

Howard Schultz

Lesson time 08:07 min

Learn why leaders of every organization must establish priorities and understand the intricacies of their business.

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.

The great class. Wisdom from Howard Schultz. Inspiring, realistic and practical suggestions. Thank you.

The Art of FUNDAMENTAL . I means How to FUND A MENTAL

Always a good reminder that CEOs are just people too.

great information from an experienced business leader, moving from 75 stores to 30,000. big lesson are the two empty seats in the board meeting for human resource and customer


Vivian Z.

He is a fantanstic mentor, I would like he could be my mentor. : ) Could I? I loved he's shared the story about expading in China and benevolently owed the success to Belinda Wang. So appreciated.


I'm loving this masterclass! I'm finding Howard Schultz to be down to earth, straight forward, full of common sense, which is all good to hear and remember moving forward. Thanks!

A fellow student

I couldn't agree more about getting ones hands dirty and getting into the mud. On paper or around the table an idea may sound great but until the idea is launched and worked on from the ground up it's not going to fly. A cog in the wheel needs to be addressed immediately, not months after.

Chase S.

I want to be able to take simple notes while listening - please add a section for that


Thanks Howard! This is equivalent to reading 900 page book. I've been studying SBUX since day 1 I started my business.


I wish he would have made this into two lessons. Im no expert but I think not knowing the importance of pricing and margins is the cause of failure for many businesses. If you remember the bail out of GM, they stated they didnt make money off the cars, it was the financing portion that was bring in the profits. If you spend 500K on building and 1 Million in earnings is the goal ( or gold standard) and 20 percent profit, its kind of simplified. Also various industries operate successfully from lower profit margins. Some do even better, I know telecommunication companies have even higher margins. Clothes, food, cars, real estate all have different margins to try to stick to. If you go to the small business organization they do have suggested margins for various businesses based on returns companies file. He also mentions costs for getting to market, is that inventory, rent, employee costs ETC?

Lukman H.

Then, `Get your hands dirty` concept is applicable for any kind of position you're working on. It doesn't mean micromanage everything. It's about how you understand very well end-to-end how the businesses work and succeed.

Lukman H.

Understanding Unit Economics is fundamental and very important. I'm working at GoJek, one of Unicorn Startup in Indonesia, long before startup praised by today's market in my country. What Howard is explaining as a type of classic corporate America, still relevant with startups. Just stop playing around with Valuation Game, and focus more on path to sustainable and profitable business instead.

Ekin Ö.

Howard's advice on the hidden cost is pretty valuable. It is underestimated. I've seen too many people thinking they figured out the financials by spending too little time on the hidden costs. They sometimes can get much larger than the cost of the product itself. On top of that, I liked the motto, "You gotta be in the mud." YES! That's what being an entrepreneur is all about. That's the fun part!

Mo D.

Howard's lesson series is solid in content and delivered with great honesty. It is the distilled juice of a classic generation of corporate America.