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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

Last updated on: November 29, 2012 15:11 IST

15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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Starbucks's Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz has built a coffee empire that extends to almost all parts of the world. The company 20,366 stores in 61 countries and his personal wealth is estimated at $1.5 billion.

So what's his secret? Let's see if some of his most famous quotes shed light on his extraordinary journey.

Source: Business Insider

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Image: Howard Schultz in his office at his company's corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington.
Photographs: Anthony Bolante/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On trusting yourself

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.

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Image: Customers leave a Starbucks coffee kiosk in the financial district of the City of London.
Photographs: Chris Helgren/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On hiring people smarter than yourself

Early on I realised that I had to hire people smarter and more qualified than I was in a number of different fields, and I had to let go of a lot of decision-making. I can't tell you how hard that is.

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Image: A man carries a Starbucks logo sign after a corporate event at a hotel in Shanghai.
Photographs: Carlos Barria/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On what it takes to be an entrepreneur

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.

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Image: Pedestrians walk past the new Starbucks logo on a store in Times Square in New York.
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On how to inspire employees

Our mission statement about treating people with respect and dignity is not just words but a creed we live by every day.

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Image: Starbucks barista Amy Hekinson makes a cup of Via instant coffee at the Queen Anne Hill Starbucks store in Seattle, Washington.
Photographs: Anthony Bolante/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On the limits of luck

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.

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Image: Starbucks barista Amy Hekinson arranges their new Via coffee product on the shelves at the Queen Anne Hill Starbucks store in Seattle, Washington.
Photographs: Anthony Bolante/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On watching stock prices

While Wall Street has taught me a lot, its most enduring lesson is an understanding of just how artificial a stock price is. It's all too easy to regard it as the true value of your company, and even the value of yourself.

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Image: A view of the Starbucks outlet on 47th and 8th Avenue in New York.
Photographs: Lily Bowers/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On making hard choices

There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust.

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Image: Matthew West, three, watches a video on his Mom's iPhone while she talks with friends at Starbucks' Roy Street Coffee and Tea in Seattle, Washington.
Photographs: Marcus Donner/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On the limits of digital media

For all the promise of digital media to bring people together, I still believe that the most sincere, lasting powers of human connection come from looking directly into someone else's eyes, with no screen in between.

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Image: Tourists walk by as street musicians Slimpickins play in front of the first Starbucks store located at historic Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.
Photographs: Marcus Donner/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On why only the bold survive

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.

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Image: Robin takes an order at the first Starbucks store located at historic Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.
Photographs: Marcus Donner/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On the power of an emotional brand

The success of Starbucks demonstrates the fact we have built an emotional connection with our customers. I think we have a competitive advantage over classic brands in that every day we get to touch and interact with our customers directly.

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Image: An artfully poured latte rests on the counter at Starbucks' Roy Street Coffee and Tea in Seattle, Washington.
Photographs: Marcus Donner/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On why companies need to go global

If the stewards of any consumer brand believe that they can create local relevance while sitting in a white tower somewhere in the US and dictating the ways in which consumers will react all over the world they are on a collision course with time.

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Image: A pedestrian passes a branch of Starbucks Coffee in central London.
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On how to dominate in China

Every consumer brand in the world is looking at China as the answer to its prayers. There will be lots of winners, and there will be many, many more losers who don't get it right. We will get it right.

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Image: Starbucks signs are seen outside one of its stores in New York.
Photographs: Chip East/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On taking responsibility for failure

There had to be a time when we stood up in front of the entire company as leaders and made almost a confession - that the leadership had failed the 180,000 Starbucks people and their families. And even though I wasn't the CEO, I had been around as chairman; I should have known more. I am responsible.

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Image: People walk past a Starbucks store in New York.
Photographs: Chip East/Reuters

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15 quotes reveal Starbucks's Howard Schultz story

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On how to break bad news

I tried to explain that these decisions were made on the basis of preserving the whole, and that I understood there would be damage. I also explained that we felt incredible compassion for the people who had to leave. You have to be honest and authentic and not hide.

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Image: People walk past a Starbucks store in New York.
Photographs: Chip East/Reuters

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On how to use social media

Information can't be from the company to the consumer; it has to be a level playing field where consumers feel that they are opting in and that there is a sharing of information.


Image: Starbucks customers walk out of store on Sao Paulo's Alameda Santos, Brazil.
Photographs: Rickey Rogers/Reuters

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