As he worked has way up through the ranks of PepsiCo, David Novak had a realization: you can’t lead a great organization of any size without getting your people aligned, enthusiastic, and focused relentlessly on the mission.
Fortunately, as he was growing in position, he was also a constant and ongoing student of leadership. He’d eventually not only lead his own organizations (becoming president of both KFC and Pizza Hut while they were still under the PepsiCo umbrella) but would go on to be Chairman & CEO of the parent company of three of the largest restaurant chains in the world after they were spun off into their own separate company, YUM! Brands, Inc. (1.4 million employees in more than 117 countries.)
The trademarked program he developed, Taking People With You, which is also the title of his book, he now teaches all over the world. It centers around setting big goals, getting people to work together, blowing past your targets, and celebrating both the touchdowns, as well as the first downs — the smaller victories — along the way. But don’t be fooled by the familiar sound. He shows us how to get it done.
What Mr. Novak did in his book is provide a step-by-step course in leadership. And, like all great leaders, his entire philosophy and methodology revolves around focusing on making others successful.
What he does, works. YUM Brand’s stock has increased over six times and they’ve had 13 percent growth or more for the past nine years. He’s been featured as one of the world’s “30 Best CEOs” by Barron’s, one of Fortune’s “Top People in Business,” and one of the “100 Best-Performing CEO’s in the World” by Harvard Business Review.
Personally, I loved the book. And, it was an honor to get to speak with him and extract some wisdom we can all use, whether a one-person show, a medium-sized firm, or a major international conglomerate.
Enjoy our chat.
What did you learn from David Novak during our discussion that you can apply right away?
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