Excerpts From "Standing Up & Standing Out"

JUDGEMENTS

One day, I was walking through the office and saw a group of my co-workers clustered together, whispering. A guy who I knew didn't like my presence in the office looked my way and said something to the other men; the group instantly broke up and everyone went back to whatever they were supposed to be doing. I think I can be forgiven for assuming they were talking about me. But in fact, I was wrong. As I later learned, they were talking about a gay man who'd been fired for inappropriate behavior (today we'd call it harassment) toward a store employee. My co-workers didn't know my attitudes well enough to feel comfortable sharing the gossip with me. The truth of that situation reminded me of my father's teachings, to always withhold judgment and refrain from forming opinions and conclusions until you know the other person's circumstances.

Back in Alexander, VA when I first joined McDonald's in 1965, my first day was with two white trainees. The white trainees were assigned inside jobs; I gotthe trash cans. The second assistant manager wanted them cleaned to perfection—something that hadn't been done in a while—but he didn't tell me what materials and equipment to use. I found those answers for myself in the McDonald's operations manual.

At the time, I assumed that I got the trash cans because of my color. But later on, I was told that the people at the store had formed a totally off-base impression of me that first day, and it was all because of my car. I was driving my dad's sharp new Chevy Impala, and when they saw me park it, some of them assumed I was a ‘rich guy.' So having me scrub out garbage could have been the second assistant manager's way of testing me to find out if I was up to the job. Or it might have been just the luck of the draw. I'll never know what he was really thinking, but over the years, I've learned not to make too many snap judgments about other people's motives.

TABLE OF CONTENTS  
Acknowledgements i
Foreword by R. Lee Dunham vi
Introduction ix
Chapter 1 Almost Everything You Need to Know 1
Chapter 2 The Business of Learning 23
Chapter 3 Mapping Out a New Course 39
Chapter 4 The Bottom Line Is Service 56
Chapter 5 Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire 80
Chapter 6 Moving Up the Ladder 105
Chapter 7 Turning New Corners 154
Chapter 8 Keeping Good Company 181
Chapter 9 Step Up, Step Back, Step Aside? 219
Chapter 10 Taking It Nationwide 249
Chapter 11 Bringing the Lessons Home 287
Chapter 12 Expansion on the Front Burner 334
Chapter 13 Still Making Waves 355
Epilogue   380

Read excerpts

  1. Introduction
  2. A Crisis and Unexpected Opportunities
  3. My First Speech to Franchisees
  4. Was Ray Kroc a Racist?
  5. Judgements
  6. My Principles of Standing Up
    And Standing Out

 

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