While staying at the McDonald’s campus over the weekend, I went for a run. Eventually, I found the bike path, which skirts the edge of the 88 acre property. At first, though, I wandered around, exploring the grounds. It was Friday, early morning; I dodged the cars of employees of the corporate offices as they pulled into parking lots or descended into the underground garage.
The whole campus seems to be a testament to the corporation’s success. One plaza shows the company’s world-wide reach – in an intricate design, engraved in dark grey stone, the various countries where McDonald’s franchises operate: Guam, Puerto Rico, Japan, Germany, Australia, Turkey, Korea, Sweden, Macau, Serbia, France, Greece, Estonia. Too many to read, as I’m running by…
Nestled beside the lake, I found Partner Park, a serene cove with benches and a sculpture, at the end of a tree-lined path. Along the path, large signs list the names of the corporation’s partners. At a glance, it wasn’t clear to me what the nature of the partnerships might be. The message to me, though was obvious: year after year, this mega-corporation depends on vital connections with others. They value those partners enough to emboss their names on a plaque, to display them boldly.
Without a team of dedicated people, it is impossible to grow a large scale operation successfully. We multiply our leadership results when we work together with others. It is imperative to have a visionary leader as an impetus for growth. But all of Ray Kroc’s ideas and vision would not have been accomplished without his belief in the power of collaboration.
In business for yourself, but not by yourself – the philosophy under-girding Kroc’s business practices – translated to phenomenal results. Kroc also said: “None of us is as good as all of us.”
If we want to be leaders who create results, we need to find, rely on, value, and celebrate vital relationships with partners.
Join the conversation!
Who are you partnering with to bring about results in your organization?
How can you celebrate and value your partners?
This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is reposted with permission.
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Great post Becky,
I really enjoyed this! You captured Kroc’s philosophy, values and beliefs so well. They’re all representative of the kind of integrity, courage and emotional intelligence most in his day, were too proud to display.
This type of leadership by example is exactly what allows brands to grow, prosper and in McDonald’s case, amass to not only become an iconic brand in American culture but eventually one that crossed nations into multiple, complex cultures.
It made me wonder whether or not the approach he took was by instinct, design or both. I had to re-read the history to compare timing and theory and found that he did in fact, grow up during the industrial age when efficiency were engineered for peak productivity. Unfortunately it also put strict demands on people and showed little regard for their needs.
Then, by the time he got into the business, the human relations era was being popularized with Maslov and McGregors’ theories on the needs of people in relationship to management.
Was he influenced by both? Extending an intrinsic belief to partners? It would seem so based on the obviously brilliant recipe for success. Not to mention an entire park in their names!
Top that with putting customers first and allowing employees/franchises freedom to experiment among countless other things and you can see how institutional memory replicated through behaviors might have played a big role in this success story.
My favorite part: “If we want to be leaders who create results, we need to find, rely on, value, and celebrate vital relationships with partners.” What a great reminder and lesson that will hopefully be heard.
Thanks for taking that run Becky. You highlighted a page in this leaders handbook that’s vital to any organizations success.