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Global Strength Through Teamwork: Jack Greenberg

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 189

One of the most recognized corporate logos around the world belongs to McDonald's Corporation. With more than 28,000 restaurants in 120 countries, McDonald's is the world's largest food service organization. Jack Greenberg served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of McDonald's from 1998 to 2002. He joined the company in 1982.

One of the most difficult challenges a CEO can face is stepping into the big shoes left by the founder of a company. Jack Greenberg invited me to his office at McDonald's world headquarters just outside of Chicago where I asked him what it was like to continue the legacy of McDonald's founder, Ray Crock.

Greenberg responded, "Well, I think the first emotional reaction is one of being very humble about the challenge - are any of us smart enough and talented enough and experienced enough to run organizations of this size? I think the answer is probably, 'No.'"

Global organizations can achieve success, but not merely through the efforts of one person. For leaders to be most valuable, they need to form a team comprised of people with various strengths. Greenberg realized that although he didn't have the power to manage McDonald's himself, the organization has great strength it its global team.

He doesn't think that it's realistic to think that retail businesses--or most businesses of McDonald's size-- can be run from a central location in a centralized way. "And so," said Greenberg, "understanding the power of decentralization and autonomy with people that share values, share standards, is the key and then surrounding yourself with really talented people. So, this is how I think about McDonald's and how we run the business. I don't consider this a business that I run because I don't know that anybody could think of it that way and be realistic." He also spoke of the importance of having a team of people that deeply care about the business.

I asked how Greenberg organized that group and what he was looking for in the people he was bringing around himself. He told me that because of McDonald's size and geographic spread, McDonald's has to not only have a diverse team but also has to value diversity in a very substantive way. Team members do share common values, though. Greenberg said he thinks honesty and integrity, some passion for the business, valuing the team, and behaving in an appropriate way are values that become especially important in a decentralized, autonomous environment.

"McDonald's, I think, is - all of us, are really ordinary people who have combined - because of the power of the brand and the business model - to accomplish extraordinary things together. That is the think that I take most pride in, I like so much about McDonald's," said Greenberg.

To double your value, acknowledge that you can't run a large organization alone, and then surround yourself with talented people who will help you run the business. Passionate people who share common values will give a global team strength and success.

Mark C. Thompson is a senior executive coach as well as a bestselling author and keynote speaker on business growth, change, sales, leadership & teamwork, success built to last. As one of the most successful senior business communication executives and angel investors of our time, Thompson is Charles Schwab's former Chief Customer Experience Officer, Chief Communications Officer and Executive Producer of Mark Thompson is a widely recognized expert in Built to Last (coauthored by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras). While at Stanford, Thompson and Porras joined forces to launch a global study to create the international bestseller: Success Built to Last. His next book is titled "Double Your Value." Visit Mark C. Thompson's youtube channel at to watch his interviews with leaders in business. Visit his website at for more content and resources about leadership, success, and doubling your value.

Source: EzineArticles
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