As one of his first engagements since assuming the role of Starbucks executive chairman, Howard Schultz presented on building trust and developing an enduring brand at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management this week in Beijing, China.
Schultz discussed the philosophy behind Starbucks success, what sets the company apart from other brands, investing in China and the role of a for-profit company as it relates to social causes.
An audience of more than 600 Tsinghua academia, students, invited guests from China Soong Ching Ling Foundation and local media attended the event, which was followed by a moderated question and answer session. It was broadcast live across China through the top local social and digital news channels in the country including Tencent, Sina, Phoenix News and KanKan News.
Tsinghua University together with Beijing University have been consistently ranked as China’s top two universities. Globally, it is recognized as one of the most selective universities in the world and often visited by business leaders.
As part of Schultz’ remarks, he recalled learning about the word “Ubuntu,” during a trip to South Africa to open a new Starbucks location.
“Ubuntu is a word that Nelson Mandela used many, many times and it means, ‘I am because of you.’ And if there’s one thing you can take away from my remarks tonight, I want you to remember Ubuntu, the level of unselfishness, the level of sharing, the level of responsibility to others, the recognition that I’m only as good as the person next to me, the recognition of what it means to be a team and the understanding, the true understanding that all ships rise when success is shared.”
Schultz’ speech in its entirety can be viewed below.