Howard Schultz is the man that lead Starbucks become the international coffee giant it is today.
The American businessman was CEO of Starbucks from 1986-2000 and again from 2008-2017, as well as the executive chairman from 2017-2018. He was also the former owner of the Seattle Supersonics, a member of the Board of Directors at Square, Inc and in 1998, Schultz co-founded Maveron, an investment group, with Dan Levitan.
Schultz came from humble beginnings, growing up in a housing authority in Brooklyn, New York. His hard work, strong leadership skills, compassion, vision and uncompromising values ultimately lead to his success with Starbucks.
Howard Schultz took a small coffee-bean shop called Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle, and inspired by his vision of replicating Italian coffee bars was able to grow Starbucks into one of the biggest brands in the world.
In 2018 his estimated net worth is $2.5 billion according to Forbes.
Below you’ll find the best collection of Howard Schultz quotes on business, leadership and success.
75 Howard Schultz Quotes
1. “I am convinced that most people can achieve their dreams and beyond if they have the determination to keep trying.” – Howard Schultz
2. “Success is not sustainable if it is defined by how big you become or by growth for growth’s sake. Success is very shallow if it doesn’t have emotional meaning.” – Howard Schultz
3. “Treating employees benevolently shouldn’t be viewed as an added cost that cuts into profits, but as a powerful energizer that can grow the enterprise into something far greater than one leader could envision.” – Howard Schultz
4. “You have to have a 100% belief in your core reason for being.” – Howard Schultz
5. “There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, that go against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust. But we lean forward, nonetheless, because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believe that the path we are choosing is the right and best thing to do.” – Howard Schultz
6. “You have to be authentic, you have to be true, and you have to believe in your heart that this is going to work.” – Howard Schultz
7. “Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners.” – Howard Schultz
8. “You have to be honest and authentic and not hide. I think the leader today has to demonstrate both transparency and vulnerability, and with that comes truthfulness and humility.” – Howard Schultz
9. “As a business leader, my quest has never been just about winning or making money. It has also been about building a great, enduring company, which has always meant striking a balance between profit and social conscience.” – Howard Schultz
10. “When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz
11. “I think the currency of leadership is transparency. You’ve got to be truthful. I don’t think you should be vulnerable every day, but there are moments where you’ve got to share your soul and conscience with people and show them who you are, and not be afraid of it.” – Howard Schultz
12. “In life, you can blame a lot of people and you can wallow in self-pity, or you can pick yourself up and say, ‘Listen, I have to be responsible for myself.'” – Howard Schultz
13. “We live in an age where everything is based on the short term.” – Howard Schultz
14. “Great companies that build an enduring brand have an emotional relationship with customers that has no barrier. And that emotional relationship is on the most important characteristic, which is trust.” – Howard Schultz
15. “You can’t build any kind of organization if you’re not going to surround yourself with people who have experience and skill base beyond your own.” – Howard Schultz
16. “I think if you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve got to dream big and then dream bigger.” – Howard Schultz
17. “Profitability is a shallow goal if it doesn’t have a real purpose, and the purpose has to be share the profits with others.” – Howard Schultz
18. “If you don’t love what you’re doing with unbridled passion and enthusiasm, you’re not going to succeed when you hit obstacles.” – Howard Schultz
19. “Often, organizations need bold, grand gestures to galvanize people towards a new mission or refocus their attention.” – Howard Schultz
20. “A great business has to have a conscience. You have to know who you are and who you are not.” – Howard Schultz
21. “When you start a company, it’s a singular focus. You have the wind at your back.” – Howard Schultz
22. “When you’re building a business or joining a company, you have to be transparent; you can’t have two sets of information for two sets of people.” – Howard Schultz
23. “Great opportunities can be and have been created during tough economic times.” – Howard Schultz
24. “I’m not as interested in what you make as I am in what you’re passionate about. What business are you really in?” – Howard Schultz
25. “You must find something that you deeply love and are passionate about and are willing to sacrifice a lot to achieve.” – Howard Schultz
26. “People ask me what’s the most important function when you’re starting an organization or setting up the kind of culture and values that are going to endure. The discipline I believe so strongly in is H.R., and its the last discipline that gets funded.” – Howard Schultz
27. “This may sound a bit naive, but I got here by believing in big dreams.” – Howard Schultz
28. “Any business today that embraces the status quo as an operating principle is going to be on a death march.” – Howard Schultz
29. “What I would say to young entrepreneurs is there’s so many moments in your life where you have these dreams, and people are trying to protect you, and they say, perhaps, friends, family, parents sometimes, they don’t agree with it, they think, ‘This is just too high of a hurdle.’ And I don’t agree with that.” – Howard Schultz
30. “I never wanted to be on any billionaires list. I never define myself by net worth. I always try to define myself by my values.” – Howard Schultz
31. “I believe life is a series of near misses. A lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It’s seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future. It’s seeing what other people don’t see And pursuing that vision.” – Howard Schultz
32. “The hardest thing about being a leader is demonstrating or showing vulnerability… When the leader demonstrates vulnerability and sensibility and brings people together, the team wins.” – Howard Schultz
33. “Business leaders cannot be bystanders.” – Howard Schultz
34. “I always saw myself wanting to do something deemed successful and good at the same time.” – Howard Schultz
35. “Cutting prices or putting things on sale is not sustainable business strategy. The other side of it is that you can’t cut enough costs to save your way to prosperity.” – Howard Schultz
36. “I think many start-ups make mistakes because they are focusing on things that are farther ahead, and they haven’t done the work that has built the foundation to support it.” – Howard Schultz
37. “Don’t do things the way they’ve always been done. Don’t try to fit into the system. If you do what’s expected of you, you’ll never accomplish more than others expect.” – Howard Schultz
38. “Believe in your dreams and dream big.” – Howard Schultz
39. “I think the currency of leadership is transparency.” – Howard Schultz
40. “Dream more than others think practical. Expect more than others think possible. Care more than others think wise.” – Howard Schultz
41. “In times of adversity and change, we really discover who we are and what we’re made of.” – Howard Schultz
42. “You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed your employee’s expectation of management.” – Howard Schultz
43. “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” – Howard Schultz
44. We have no patent on anything we do and anything we do can be copied by anyone else. But you can’t copy the heart and soul and the conscience of the company. – Howard Schultz
45. In anything we do, any endeavour, it’s not what you do; it’s why you do it. – Howard Schultz
46. “Luck is the residue of design.” – Howard Schultz
47. “I feel so strongly that the reason I’m here is I dreamed big dreams. I dreamed the kind of dreams that other people said would not be possible.” – Howard Schultz
48. “But when you really believe in yourself, in your dream, you just have to do everything you possibly can to take control and make your vision a reality. No great achievement happens by luck.” – Howard Schultz
49. “You have to create the thing you want to be part of.” – Howard Schultz
50. “Whatever you do, don’t play it safe.” – Howard Schultz
51. “Grow with discipline. Balance intuition with rigor. Innovate around the core. Don’t embrace the status quo. Find new ways to see. Never expect a silver bullet. Get your hands dirty. Listen with empathy and overcommunicate with transparency. Tell your story, refusing to let others define you. Use authentic experiences to inspire. Stick to your values, they are your foundation. Hold people accountable, but give them the tools to succeed. Make the tough choices; it’s how you execute that counts. Be decisive in times of crisis. Be nimble. Find truth in trials and lessons in mistakes. Be responsible for what you see, hear, and do. Believe.” – Howard Schultz
52. “In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.” – Howard Schultz
53. “When we love something, emotion often drives our actions. This is the gift and the challenge entrepreneurs face every day. The companies we dream of and build from scratch are part of us and intensely personal. They are our families. Our lives. But the entrepreneurial journey is not for everyone. Yes, the highs are high and the rewards can be thrilling. But the lows can break your heart. Entrepreneurs must love what they do to such a degree that doing it is worth sacrifice and, at times, pain. But doing anything else, we think, would be unimaginable.” – Howard Schultz
54. “One of the fundamental aspects of leadership, I realized more and more, is the ability to instill confidence in others when you yourself are feeling insecure.” – Howard Schultz
55. “Remember: You’ll be left with an empty feeling if you hit the finish line alone. When you run a race as a team, though, you’ll discover that much of the reward comes from hitting the tape together. You want to be surrounded not just by cheering onlookers but by a crowd of winners, celebrating as one.” – Howard Schultz
56. “If you examine a butterfly according to the laws of aerodynamics, it shouldn’t be able to fly. But the butterfly doesn’t know that, so it flies.” – Howard Schultz
57. “To stay vigorous, a company needs to provide a stimulating and challenging environment for all these types: the dreamer, the entrepreneur, the professional manager, and the leader. If it doesn’t, it risks becoming yet another mediocre corporation.” – Howard Schultz
58. “To be an enduring, great company, you have to build a mechanism for preventing or solving problems that will long outlast any one individual leader.” – Howard Schultz
59. “Every step of the way, I made it a point to underpromise and overdeliver. In the long run, that’s the only way to ensure security in any job.” – Howard Schultz
60. “When you’re in a hole, quit digging!” – Howard Schultz
61. “Our mission statement about treating people with respect and dignity is not just words but a creed we live by every day. You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management. That’s the contract.” – Howard Schultz
62. “If you want to build a great enterprise, you have to have the courage to dream great dreams. If you dream small dreams, you may succeed in building something small. For many people, that is enough. But if you want to achieve widespread impact and lasting value, be bold.” – Howard Schultz
63. “Compromise anything but your core values.” – Howard Schultz
64. “Large or small, our actions forge our futures, hopefully inspiring others along the way.” – Howard Schultz
65. “Victory is much more meaningful when it comes not just from one person, but from the joint achievements of many.” – Howard Schultz
66. “You need to be willing to surround yourself with people more talented than you are in certain areas. You need a degree of fear of failure to keep you going. And, while everyone wants leaders who demonstrate courage, passion and boldness, you should not be afraid to show vulnerability now and then.” – Howard Schultz
67. “Don’t be threatened by people smarter than you. Compromise anything but your core values. Seek to renew yourself even when you are hitting home runs. And everything matters.” – Howard Schultz
68. “To get rich is glorious.” – Howard Schultz
69. “The word saturation is not even in our vocabulary.” – Howard Schultz
70. “The ability to recognize limitations in yourself is what determines whether you have a great idea that can become a great business. You can’t keep your finger on the pulse of all the issues you’ll face; no one person can do everything. Entrepreneurs are bold thinkers, but they’re usually not detail-oriented. You need the self-esteem to hire people who are smarter than you and give them the autonomy to manage their own areas. Surround yourself with great people and get out of the way; don’t try to micromanage things as you did early on.” – Howard Schultz
71. “Be very careful not to allow the values of the company to be compromised by an ambition to grow. Every decision and opportunity has to be put into that context: What will it look like in the long term? Growth can be a seductive evil if it isn’t built on the right foundation. There are a lot of similarities between rearing a family, where the parents imprint values on their children, and starting a new business, where the founder sets the ground rules very early. If you do it right and maintain those values, growth will be managed so you don’t lose the soul of the company.” – Howard Schultz
72. “I was turned down by 217 of the 242 investors I initially talked to. You have to have a tremendous belief in what you’re doing and just persevere. The three venture capital firms we ended up with in 1989 are still on the board today and have been an invaluable resource. You have to build a board where there are shared values and trust so you aren’t always at odds. I encourage board members to be honest with me, and I give them assignments that enhance their contributions.” – Howard Schultz
73. “Great companies recognize who they are and who they are not. But they must have the courage to examine transformational opportunities.” – Howard Schultz
74. “Fear of failure drove me at first, but as I tackled each challenge, my anxiety was replaced by a growing sense of optimism. Once you overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, other hurdles become less daunting. Most people can achieve beyond their dreams if they insist upon it. I’d encourage everyone to dream big, lay your foundations well, absorb information like a sponge, and not be afraid to defy conventional wisdom. Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.” – Howard Schultz
75. “I can’t give you any secret recipe for success, any foolproof plan for making it in the world of business. But my own experience suggests that it is possible to start from nothing and achieve even beyond your dreams.” – Howard Schultz
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