Leadership

13 inspiring quotes on leadership and success from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz, the man behind one of the largest and most successful coffee companies in the world, has lived a rags-to-riches story, starting off poor and creating a $3 billion fortune as well as more than 300,000 jobs.

Following the news that the Starbucks CEO will be stepping down in 2017, CNBC rounded up some of his most inspiring quotes about growing up poor, the struggles of running a rapidly growing company and never losing sight of his humanity as a leader.

"I am convinced that most people can achieve their dreams and beyond if they have the determination to keep trying."

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

"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 on Mad Money.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Howard Schultz on Mad Money.

Source: Harvard Business Review


"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 on Mad Money.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Howard Schultz on Mad Money.

"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 on Mad Money.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Howard Schultz on Mad Money.

"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 on Mad Money.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Howard Schultz on Mad Money.

"You have to have a 100% belief in your core reason for being."

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz greets employees at a Starbucks in Charleston, N.C.
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"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, CEO of Starbucks at an annual shareholder's meeting in Seattle.
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Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks at an annual shareholder's meeting in Seattle.

"You have to be authentic, you have to be true, and you have to believe in your heart that this is going to work."

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

"Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners."

Howard Schultz, chairman and former CEO of Starbucks
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Howard Schultz, chairman and former CEO of Starbucks

"It was not the calling of coffee, but the calling to try to build a company that my father never got a chance to work for."

Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks

"Because not everyone can take charge of his or her destiny, those who do rise to positions of authority have a responsibility whose daily work keeps the enterprise running, not only to steer the correct course, but to make sure that no one is left behind."

Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks

"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, chairman and CEO of Starbucks
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks

"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."

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks during the Starbucks Annual Shareholders Meeting on March 23, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.
Stephen Brashear | Getty Images
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks during the Starbucks Annual Shareholders Meeting on March 23, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.