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Business, Politics & Society

Real Leadership: What Do You Do in Crisis?

Howard Schultz

Lesson time 12:28 min

Hear how Howard led Starbucks through a crisis in 2008, and why it’s important to earn success everyday.

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 loved getting an inside look into the mind of Howard Schultz.

What an amazing story of company growth and values. I learned so much, I share a lot of the human views on how to run a project and I am glad to see that it is all not about numbers but about very human and sensitive values.

Howard Schultz is a master in leadership especially the way he tells stories

Superb lessons from a classy business leader.


A fellow student

Simply he tells what you will need to overcome if you want to have a successful business. Thanks Howard !

Cédric J.

Leçon 12 : Real Leadership: What Do You Do in Crisis? Howard Schultz. Tu dois savoir à l'intérieur de toi, qu'est-ce que tu as pour mener à bien la compagnie, les personnes et la voit qu'ils prennent. Es-ce qui peuvent ? Oui ils peuvent. Mais tu dois y croire. 2008 Starbucks avait des problème, Howard à commencer à s'excuser auprès des familles et des employés et il sait mit à pleurer. Car il était triste. Quelques mois plus tard, il y avait un meeting avec 12.000 Managers de magasin à la Nouvelle-Orléans. Il a partagé son information et les problèmes avec sincérité devant toutes ses personnes. Il devait comprendre le challenge de cette entreprise. Faites des significatives coupures dans votre compagnie, afin d'affecter leur vie, leur famille. Avoir un impact sur eux, empathie et compassion pour eux. Il ne connait aucune compagnie, va démarre et va droit vers la lune. Y'aura toujours des challenges, des échecs, des choses à changer etc... Vous devez gagner, avoir faim, mettre votre passion et vous mettre des challenges pour monter au fur et à mesure.

Anna C.

Got a lot of respect to Howard after this master class. Love his honest, open approach.

Anahid H.

seems as Howard and Starbucks have been thru it all wish he could have been a presidential nominee now that I've learned more about his value's he damn sure better and stronger than Joe Biden great lesson's

A fellow student

his whole class is great but, especially in this time (covid-19) this particular lesson "real leadership: what do you do in a crisis" was extremely impactful!

A fellow student

So inspiring, I took so many great notes. I do think the editing may be off at the end of some of the segments though.

Quoc C.

It is very universal - the truth. Sugar coating things will come back to bite us down the road. Whenever the economy turns soft, excess and luxurious presentation of core products will be questioned (this is off course my personal opinion). Thanks Mr. Schultz for sharing this period of time out of Starbucks' history.

A fellow student

Making cuts is NOT the only alternative. I'm reading a few different books, and one of them mentions a company, Barry-Wehmiller. Their CEO, Bob Chapman, noticed they needed to cut back to the tune of $10 million (USD). Instead of cutting people, he said that each person would be required to take 4 weeks of unpaid vacation. "It's better for all of us to suffer a little, than some of us to suffer a lot." It goes on to say that the people grew stronger as a result. Those who could afford to take more than 4 weeks of unpaid time off would take 6 weeks, so someone else with a family could take only two. This started happening across the company, and to top it all off, they saved over $20 million, without firing a single soul.

A fellow student

I would like to see Mr Schultz cannibalize the Starbucks himself, see his angle.

Kris S.

I am enjoying this course and I find benefit in Howard Schultz's message. It may not be the epiphany that many are seeking, but the message is solid and worth repeating. However, I would like tangible examples of how Starbucks cannibalized itself. Is he referring to branching out into coffee mugs, boulangerie, etc.?