Oct 27, 2007

To run with the dogs, you have to rise with the roosters - "Don Thompson"

The mid-level managers summit was a life changing experience for me in many ways. The Key note address was delivered by Don Thompson, President of McDonald’s USA. It's encouraging to note how well he's done - in a relatively short period. The fact that he's risen to his position whilst maintaining his Principles & Values, is that much more impressive.
Don - started out by exhorting the audience to be open to new opportunities. Most of us know that as we navigate the enigma that is "Corporate America" there will be days of Aspiration, Inspiration, Consternation, Indignation and ultimately - Celebration. Below are some of Don's Professional Tit-Bits - which I personally found very useful.

-> Our days on each are too limited for us to go about feeling miserable
-> Romans 12: "I urge you - in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices - holy & pleasing to God".
-> Academic credentials will take you so far, diligence & determination will take you to a different level
-> Know your business as deeply as you can
-> Be open to diagonal and/or horizontal change
-> Look to get broad exposure, International Experiences help improve one’s overall knowledge
-> Learn more about the people you want to emulate and the positions they hold
-> To be successful, you need to be able to manage your manager. Understand his top priorities and strive to help him or her, achieve them
-> "Read the tea leaves". Often, signs come long before the Storm.
-> Develop Emotional Intelligence and Nurture & Coach with honesty
-> Keep friends around you who will stab you in the front - friends who will deliver "real-talk" at all times
-> Believe in yourself and know what you're good at. It's equally important to know what you're NOT good at and get help in those areas. Put your ego aside and surround yourself with talented and capable people
-> Be Self-Confident enough to not "sell out". Always be true to yourself and maintain your principles
-> Be adaptable, don't get caught up in Office Politics
-> Find out what you want to do and drive hard to get it done. Network when you can and stay focused on your key goals
-> If you really thing it through, you have more options than you think. Write out some key issues or problems and outline your key solutions. Never dwell on your issues

Don was relaxed, engaged and managed to convey a very positive message to the audience. I was particularly struck by his priorities - God, Self, Family and Career, in that order. I certainly share Don's focus on God and his feeling that one should never impose our beliefs on others. I did get a chance to meet him briefly later on in the day, and I told him how much of an inspiration he's been - to me. I also told him that I'll be watching closely - and I fully expect him to become CEO, sometime soon.

Good Keynote - Great man............

No comments: