Profit Power: What McDonald’s can teach us about leadership and accountability

Photo: oatawa/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Photo: oatawa/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
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Photo: oatawa/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Early in my professional career, I learned the importance of tying company owners and leaders together with an accountability agreement.

Originally the idea was brought to me by a division leader in my landscape business. He did this as a way to get us both on the same page.

He called it a “relationship contract,” describing what he and I did for each other. He had a servant’s heart and he wrote it in terms of how we served each other.

It was a great kernel of an idea that I developed into an accountability agreement, describing both the servant’s side and the results side.

You can create an accountability agreement to be used with your seconds in command (or with your boss if you are the employee), by simply answering the two following questions:

What do I do for you?
What do you do for me?

Answer it in terms of things/services you do for the other person, and results you deliver in your role, and how you support the organization as a whole.

To understand the importance of this, reflect on the great founders of our times and what they have achieved.

Ray Kroc is a great example.

You know him as the developer of McDonald’s, not the inventor, but the real founder of the modern-day franchise. However, you may not know much about his powerful second in command, Fred Turner. Here is an eye-opening summary of their relationship, edited from Wikipedia:

“In 1968, Fred Turner became the company’s president and chief administrative officer. Turner had originally intended to open a McDonald’s franchise, but when he had problems with his backers, he went to work as a grill man for Kroc in 1956.

In his role as vice president of operations, Turner turned Ray Kroc’s dream of McDonald’s into a finely tuned machine. He helped new franchisees get their stores up and running. He constantly found new ways to improve the McDonald’s system, for example, by determining the maximum number of hamburger patties one could stack in a box without squashing them, and by reducing waste by ordering buns pre-sliced all the way through so they would not stuck together in the package. Such attention to detail by Fred Turner as VP of ops was one reason for the company’s extraordinary success.”

It’s this type of dynamic relationship between founder and second-in-command that helps an organization to scale and reach the founder’s dreams.

Your challenge is to operate with a vision as clear as Ray Kroc, and then to recognize the talent needed to achieve your biggest dreams and beyond.

Learn more creating dynamic relationships between founders and seconds-in-command at Jeffrey Scott’s upcoming virtual event titled “The Executive Experience”: https://theexecutiveexperience2021.eventbrite.com 

In this event, Scott will uncover the power of collaborative relationships between CEOs, COOs and Division Leaders, like Ray Kroc and Fred Turner, and discuss how to implement accountability agreements.

Jeffrey Scott

Jeffrey Scott

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners. To learn more visit GetTheLeadersEdge.com

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