Book Review: “Everything I Know About Business I Learned at McDonald’s: The 7 Leadership Principles that Drive Break Out Success” by Paul Facella

Paul Facella, an ex-McDonald executive, who started working as a crew in McDonald’s since 16 years of age, outlined the 7 leadership principles that drive break out success like McDonald’s. After reading this book, I got to understand the business model of McDonald’s a little better. By buying up the property and lease it to the operator, McDonald’s practically becomes the landlord that aligns its profit with that of the tenants. McDonald’s simple strategy of QSC also makes the execution easier. I was surprised by how much of a culture is needed to drive a successful company like McDonald’s. It’s an incredible “system.” More the 7 principles below:

1. Honesty and integrity: all the stakeholders stand to gain, making everyone feel like a true partner. Use of ombusdsman to audit the process.
2. Relationships: “To get to the heart of the person’s value system. It’s the very foundation of trust.” “Got relationships will allow others not only to approach with insights but also to challenge your thinking.” “I was tolerant of someone’s buckets of weakness as long as I could maximize on their strengths.” “Seek out and develop a network of individuals who you can rely on for good feedback and advice. Don’t react, don’t be defensive… Listen. Be in the present.”
3. Standards: never be satisfied. “Measurements always improves performance.” “Always insist that goals have key metrics. Define them. Measure them. Celebrate their achievement.” “Plan to Win” strategy boils down to five P’s: people, products, place, price and performance. (one more P to Marketing’s 4 P’s).
4. Lead by example. “You could never more out of people than you were willing to give of yourself to them.” “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.” “Where there is no risk, there is no achievement and where there is no achievement, there is no real achievement.”
5. Courage: “People will respect you for having the courage to admit when you’re wrong.” “Have the courage to speak up calmly and in an organized fashion to present your perspective, even if it seems to go against the grain of your higher-ups.” “Welcome new ideas from your associates but challenge them to think through every step of their plan.”
6. Communications: “It’s OK to disagree, but don’t be disagreeable.” “A person who is genuinely and legitimately surprised by his or her annual performance appraisal provides grounds for dismissal of person’s boss.”
7. Recognition: “A little praise, some recognition, and I was ready to give my all to the company.” “Increasing employee recognition lowers turnover, raises customer loyalty, and increases productivity.” “Don’t just recognize the employee. Recognize his or her significant other.” “The system has always pushed for continuous learning and innovation.”