Howard Schultz: Best leaders come from the military

Howard Schultz is more than just the CEO of Starbucks. He is also passionate about nurturing leadership in the next generation, and hopes that many of the rising leaders will come from the military.

In an interview with Jim Cramer at CNBC's 25th Anniversary Gala, Schultz commented on where he sees the future of the U.S. headed, now that election day is over.

"At the elections, we saw that half the country did not vote … I've reached the point where I don't want to blame government anymore, and I don't want to rely on them. I think business has a significant role here to play to reinvent the role and responsibility of a public company. To demonstrate that you can make a profit, you can give back to your community and you can carry your people in a major way," Schultz said.

The Starbucks CEO has demonstrated his passion for giving back. Earlier in the year, he announced Starbucks' plans to hire at least 10,000 veterans and active military spouses over the next five years.

"I think we should demonstrate people who are entering civilian life from the military have extraordinary skills; leadership skills, integrity, unbelievable assets that we can apply to business. It's not charity, it's not pity; we just need to hire them," Schultz said.

Schultz displayed his own work ethic and leadership capabilities, when he took something as simple as a cup of coffee and turned it into a national pastime.




Starbucks President and CEO Howard Schultz speaks at a press conference, June 16, 2014, in New York.
Getty Images
Starbucks President and CEO Howard Schultz speaks at a press conference, June 16, 2014, in New York.

Inspired by a trip to an espresso bar in Italy, he realized that what was missing in the American coffee experience was connection. He saw that this espresso bar was more than just about caffeine; it acted as a social hub.

Thus, Schultz foreshadowed that Starbucks' coffee could be sold at a premium if presented with the right experience to accompany the product. There is now a $15 billion market for specialty coffee in the U.S. At the epicenter of his business goal, has always been around the connection and experience. He predicted that Americans also crave this connection.

"Americans realize that the country has gone in the wrong direction. The American brand is not what it once was, and I think American businesses and American brands can demonstrate a deep sense of leadership around the world around capitalism and humanity," the CEO said.

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Of course Cramer has never been one to beat around the bush, and dove right in and asked Schultz if he would ever run for president.

"I have no desire to run for president. I have no desire to run for anything but for Starbucks," responded Schultz.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

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