From Howard Schultz's MasterClass

Values and Profits Are Not Enemies

Howard shares the origin story of Starbucks, and how he built a company where values and profit are not in conflict.

Topics include: Investing in Values and Achieving Financial Performance: Expanding Into China


Howard shares the origin story of Starbucks, and how he built a company where values and profit are not in conflict.

Topics include: Investing in Values and Achieving Financial Performance: Expanding Into China

Howard Schultz

Business Leadership

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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.

just fantastic! but also brief and to the point. one of my faves!

Great to hear a story from a successful but humble CEO - refreshing tone.

As a person who started a business and failed. I am still struggling with my failure. The lesson is good reminder that I can try again. The lessons are obvious. But everyone need a good reminder.

Love this Masterclass. I didn't know much about Mr. Schultz prior to this but what I have learned, he as allowed too much of his staff's personal politics get in the way of his next phase of growth and success (profitability). He is smart, though, He will navigate around this. I think he has a lot to learn from Chick-fil-A


R F.

Excellent correlation between Values and Financial Performance - which often the two are considered to be in conflict, or one must be somewhat sacrificed for the other. To succeed financially is one aspect - but to succeed financially while preserving and expanding the core value set … now this is something that will provide pride for the people working in the organization. What a wonderful way to retain and motivate employees!

Alexey K.

Important take aways: - Fragile balance between profit and responsibility / values, but you have to financially perform - Success is best when it's shared - 9 (!) years unsuccessful in China, as the same mistakes have been made several times - #1 benefit needed in China - critical healthcare for the parents of the employees

A fellow student

I love the last line: The price of admission to being a value based company is : There must be financial performance.

Marty F.

Fascinating Howard, Like your values and the origins of your motivation. Interestingly I perceived that for future business in China that the best solution would be a CEO from China. Very interesting about your first talk there with regard to the audience. Also when I registered my trademark Red Steel in that territory I chose to register in both Chinese traditional and English. Even after just two videos I feel like there is going to be a lot of value in your teachings. Appreciated.

Dianna Z.

Interesting that he said that values and performance can coexist, but there has to be profits - does that mean that values have to take a back seat in the startup phase of the company, until it's performing at a high level?

Liam B.

It was powerful when he said he wanted to build the type of company his dad would have loved to work for.

Ann B.

It always amazes me when I listen to someone like this who says exactly what I say to people. Jump in. Do it. It’s the best advice.


I knew quite a lot about Starbucks before, but this video has so much new information! I used to live in China for a couple of years and I really understand why this family concept has worked out that good! Lots of inspiration. Great course!

Ramanathan S.

Loved it. His commitment and conviction and willingness to learn everything. The Jack Ma/Ali Baba story is a powerful one. More important is that he did not dismiss it as something that will work in China but not in the US. He just borrowed that and used in the US. My former boss used to say "Beg, Borrow, or Steal a great idea to become better. Don't worry about where that came from. Even if it is from a person you hate, take it and use it."

Ramanathan S.

Amazing. I am an Innovation consultant and executive coach. I learned so many things listening to Howard. Storytelling. Personal conviction. People orientation. Results focus. Just outstanding. I saw this at 6:30 am at the start of my day. What an inspiring way to start a day. Awesome.