In the August 12, 2013 issue of Fortune magazine there is an article entitled “Great Job” by Geoff Colvin which describes how David Novak, the CEO of Yum Brands, developed a formula for effective, successful leadership.
Yum Brands is the world’s largest restaurant company with 39,000 KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell locations throughout the world with 1.5 million employees. Yum has opened a new restaurant every 14 hours for the last 16 years and is not slowing down. Since 1997 its stock has returned 16.5% compounded annually compared to 3.9% for the S&P 500’s.
When Novak took control of KFC 30 years ago he entered a poisonous atmosphere where headquarters BLAMED the franchisees and the franchisees BLAMED headquarters for KFC’s problems. (Just as Republicans blame Democrats and Democrats blame Republicans for our political problems) Novak said there would be no more BADMOUTHING and changed the culture. In three years profits had nearly DOUBLED.
Novak spent time visiting and listening to franchisees and ask his executives to consider what the franchisees were saying. Novak said once everybody at KFC saw their ideas were pretty similar to his ideas then what was MY idea, became OUR idea.
What really made the difference Novak said was the idea “IF WE TRUSTED EACH OTHER, we could WORK TOGETHER to make something happen that was bigger than our individual capabilities.”
For 30 years Novak has been the business world’s ultimate TEAM builder. He developed a three-day leadership program which he calls “Taking People With You.” The program requires each participant to LOOK INSIDE HIMSELF. They then must rate themselves on TRUTHFULNESS, RELIABILITY, OPENESS, HOW THEY TREAT OTHER TEAM MEMBERS AND HOW THEY VIEW THE MISTAKES OF OTHERS.” You are not considered fit to build a team until you have worked hard on yourself.
The final topic in Taking People With You is RECOGNITION. Novak’s desk is covered with knickknacks such as a rubber chicken, a plastic Razorback hog, and a red clay roof tile which he gives out as special personal rewards in recognition of team leadership. His walls are covered with photos of him giving awards to employees around the world not photos with presidents and sports stars.
Republicans BLAME Democrats and Democrats BLAME Republicans for the 50 million living in poverty, the 11 million illegal immigrants, the $16 trillion national debt, the 11 million unemployed and all other problems facing Americans.
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Can you name one Republican or one Democrat whose conduct would lead you to believe he or she has: LOOKED INSIDE AND RATED THEMSELVES FOR TRUTHFULNESS, RELIABILITY, OPENESS, SELF CENTERDNESS AND HOW THEY TREAT AND VIEW THE MISTAKES OF OTHER POLITICIANS.
Can you name one Democrat or one Republican who TRUSTED each other enough to WORK TOGETHER to reduce the number of people living in poverty, find a solution to the illegal immigration, find a solution to government spending/taxes, and reduce unemployment.
The Democrats have their Democrat National Committee and Republicans have the Republican National Committee, national organizations to act as leaders for their parties. If you examine their web pages you will not find any leadership programs like David Novak has at Yum Brands showing candidates how to trust and work together with people in the other party.
Mitch McConnell the Senate Republican leader stated his number 1 priority for the last four years was to “Make President Obama a one term president.” Nothing about “Trust” or “Working Together” to solve the problems of poverty, unemployment, taxes, national debt, or immigration.
John Boehner the Republican House leader said the Republican controlled House should be proud of the “laws we repealed.” Nothing about “Trust” or “Working Together” to solve the problems of poverty, unemployment, taxes, national debt or immigration.
Republicans and Democrats who insist on MY way or the highway have created the least productive congress in history with the lowest approval rating in history and 57% of Americans in a July poll said they would replace every member of congress if they could.
Hopefully some day Democrats and Republicans will adopt Novak’s leadership program of “Taking People With You” and candidates from both parties will TRUST each other and WORK TOGETHER to solve the problems of poverty, unemployment, taxes, the national debt and immigration instead of BADMOUTHING each other.
(Paul Rawlings of Heber Springs contributes monthly to the editorial pages of The Sun-Times)