Starbucks Demonstrates Servant Leadership with Free Education

Howard Schultz CEO in College Graduation CapStarbucks has been referred to as a servant leadership company. Now, the company is taking another huge step in continuing its servant leadership principles by offering free college education to their employees. In a Daily Show interview on the announcement, Chairman and CEO, Howard Schultz made some incredible statements:

“Today we announced that Starbucks will be the first US Company to provide free college tuition for all our employees.”

“The only way you can build a great, enduring company is by linking shareholder value with value for employees.”

“We have the lowest level of attrition of any company in our sector.”

“You can’t just focus on profitability. An enduring, great company has to be based on more than that…”

“Our people have created the experience. We have to do everything we can to exceed their expectations.”

“We can’t wait for Washington… we have to display real leadership.”

“Companies need to do more for their people and the communities they serve.”

“Starbucks has always taken a little bit different track.”

As if he were speaking directly to my readers, Schultz then added, “Because of social media and the fact there is such transparency, the consumers today knows everything… if you don’t do the right thing, they will reject you.” Yes, servant leadership works. Starbucks knows it and social media is driving demand for it.

Question: Do you think servant leadership adoption will grow with examples like Starbucks and tools like social media?


Picture of Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

1 thought on “Starbucks Demonstrates Servant Leadership with Free Education”

  1. Christopher Garcia


    This is truly servant leadership at it’s finest. I’ve been part of organizations that have partial reimbursement for tuition but full reimbursement is mind-blowing. I enjoy finding examples of servant leadership in action as I am new to writing and trying to serve others. Examples and content like this truly reinforce that I am on the right path to look to make a difference. Thank you and any other suggestions are welcome!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Content

Martin Luther King – Celebration of a Servant Leader

Martin Luther King is among the greatest Servant Leaders this world has ever seen. His vision, leadership and ultimate sacrifice blazed a path for millions. There are many great posts, videos and other references that remind us of his vision and social injustices he would fight still today. Below are some of my favorites.

Scroll to Top
We Value Your Privacy

This site uses cookies to enhance your experience. We do not share, sell, or lease your information for any other purpose.