Business, Politics & Society

Hire a Values-Based Team

Howard Schultz

Lesson time 11:30 min

Your primary job as CEO will be to hire a team that shares your values. Howard shares his approach to accomplishing this.

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.

I understand now that to succeed as a leader it involves empathy, teamwork, and tough decisions.

It was a good class. well presented but a bit too generic. I would have learned more with some specific cases and problems the company had and how it overcame those.

I am just watching for right now. But it is good to hear the advises.

That honesty and staying true to your values creates better leaders and a stronger business.


A fellow student

I really like Howard’s point about ‘Ask questions about ‘person’ at beginning of an interview, eg. Last book you read or ask about family, it cool down the intension or stressfulness of interviewee, it is just like ‘ice break’ can make the conversation more smoothly; Also, people-oriented question reveals more about the interviewee’s interpersonal capability, which becomes a more dominant factor in someone’s success in working environment, rather than purely technically competence. My personal opinion here about family question, be more specific, it could be like ‘When/Where was your last family trip?’ It is similar to ‘the last book’, requesting a real example which might provide quite a lot of details, how the person get along with family, personal value, etc. or another path, zooming into trips, also can tell how much curiosity someone holds.

A fellow student

A discussion about how much equity stake is appropriate would be helpful. Also if you hire someone and give them an equity stake then realise early on that you hired the wrong person, what happens then? Do they keep the equity stake (especially if it's large) and contribute nothing else in return?

A fellow student

I'm enjoying this class thus far. I have a small business, but I relate most of these discussions to the management of my life. "I not a business man, I'm a business, man." I think all of Howard's words can be applied to the business of running my life/household. So, what is the culture of my household.

Lena T. can you please run for the presidency!!!

Lena T.

I loved the story about the families in China. You have created such a humane company. We need a humane president next. Please apply.

Ekin Ö.

What Howard explained here about the match between the values of the company and the employee is what I'd strive for when hiring. Ray Dalio, Bridgewater's founder, tells a very similar story. Quoting his excellent book "Principles: Life and Work": "Helping people acquire skills is easy—it’s typically a matter of providing them with appropriate training. Improvements in abilities are more difficult but essential to expanding what a person can be responsible for over time. And changing someone’s values is something you should never count on. In every relationship, there comes a point when you must decide whether you are meant for each other—that’s common in private life and at any organization that holds high standards. At Bridgewater, we know that we cannot compromise on the fundamentals of our culture, so if a person can’t get to the bar in an acceptable time frame, he or she must leave."

Axpic P.

Love the insights on developing culture and hiring value-based team. How do we deliberately grow a culture that we want? Or is it organically evolve with every member that join us?

Tara Jade B.

"In the early stages of the company, one or two people who are not consistent with your values can have a significant negative impact." It all boils down to the values. In a great company, all the employees know what the values are and are inlined with them. And everyone else coming in later should match that... I think really, you can push everything aside, but values should be the same. Looking back, in all disjointed companies (sadly including my own) the values did not match. If I ever start another company, I´ll pay extreme attention to this.

Junaid M.

Very valuable insights. I'll be using them to build my company. Thanks, HS!


Hiring good people will always be a risky business, especially in the early stages. It takes time till the really open up and you get a glance through their performance into the core believes and values. You may be able to adjust a few insignificant attributes, but the deeper value structure is already marked long ago, so be willing to let people go really early when your gut ist telling you "Houston, we have a problem". Don't let the negativ energy spread.