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Be Inspired: The Success Story of Ray Kroc - McDonald's

I would like to share with you the beautiful success story of a man called ‘Ray Kroc’, the founder of McDonald's. His story has some remarkable features, and I will present to you the important points that I noted when I read the story. I will also introduce you to a widely used ‘Life Coaching Model’ at the end of this article, and show you how to use this model as a Life Coach.

My notes:

Did Ray Kroc start when he was young? Did he have a lot of money? Did he have a high profile business qualification? Ray Kroc started in 1954 when he was 54 years old. He was a milk shake machine salesman. But he knew he could make it big, he did not believe in ageism. He completely believed in his self. He knew he had unlimited potential.

Did he have a vision? When he saw hamburger stands selling hamburgers, he envisioned the potential of a massive new fast-food industry. He could see the splendour of his empire in a simple bun. Kroc had the ability to see his future. He created a map for success, so he knew exactly where he was going. ”It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun. Yet, is it any more unusual to find grace in the texture and softly curved silhouette of a bun than to reflect lovingly on the hackles of a favourite fishing fly? Or the arrangement of textures and colours in a butterfly's wing? Not if you're a McDonald's man. Not if you view the bun as an essential material in the art of serving a great many meals fast.” Ray Kroc

He was passionate about owning the most successful chain of restaurants. He wanted to provide high quality service at an affordable cost. He worked for 30 years as a milk shake machine salesman, and wherever he went, he gathered information, knowledge, and skills, which he later used to build the McDonald's Empire. He was patient and waited for the right time and opportunity.

Goal Setting
What did Ray Kroc do with his vision?
(a) He clearly defined the business goal.
(b) He used to break up the larger goal into small manageable chunks.
(c) He clearly defined what his customers wanted, and filled those needs elegantly.
(d) He focussed on customer satisfaction, quality, and discipline.
(e) He constantly, fine-tuned his strategies by reviewing and adapting his approach to meet the needs of the business environment.

Was Ray Kroc proactive? He took massive action to realise his dream. He partnered with McDonald brothers' to set up a chain of world famous restaurants. He built a strong successful team. He believed in continuous improvement, searched for gaps, and filled them elegantly. He did not base his life on sheer luck; he took action to create his own destiny.

He was passionate about restaurant business and his motivation was high. Commitment is a key factor in the attainment of goals and desires, and Ray Kroc had 100% commitment to reach his goals.

He believed that consistency and high quality is the key to success. He focussed on efficiency, effectiveness, and time management, which are the core elements of success. He knew good organisation and discipline are vital for achieving excellence in any field.

Risk taking and willingness to challenge
He was a powerful man, and had a strong faith in himself. He knew ‘Faith can move mountains’. He used sound strategies to survey the business environment and took calculated risks. He was always willing to go an extra mile, and was ever ready to challenge and stretch himself.

Thinking out of the box
Did he revolutionise the fast-food industry by thinking out of the box? He had the curiosity to explore and find new ways of doing things. He rediscovered and found a new way of selling burgers, French fries, and milk shakes.

Monitoring and the culture of continuous improvement
Did he always look for opportunity? He found out the existing food industry suffered because of the lack of proper organisation. He used this information and developed a sophisticated operating and delivery system. He continually monitored performance and identified opportunities. He built a team for research and development and continually improved his way of doing things that is the business process.

Did he think Win-Win? He regarded his franchisees as partners and not customers. He wanted them to win, and he considered their success to be his own success. “My belief was that I had to help the individual operator succeed in every way I could. His success would insure my success. But I couldn’t do that and, at the same time, treat him as customer”: Ray Kroc – From Forbes Greatest Business Stories of All-Time by Daniel Gross.

Was Ray Kroc flexible? He liked the idea of brainstorming and welcomed new ideas from people at all levels. He knew our environment was dynamic and not static.

He showed high respect for other people’s ideas. On several occasions, he used other people’s ideas to achieve excellence.

Ray Kroc became one of the most powerful people in America but he did not give up his values and ideals. He believed in ‘Plain living and high thinking’.

Modelling Excellence
Was Ray Kroc a good modeller? He looked around him for excellence, identified them, and learned from them. He was a great learner, he did not believe in ‘Reinventing the Wheel’. He adopted good practice from others, refined them to meet his needs. He was good at replicating excellence. When someone did something good, he knew that if the other person could do it, he could do it too.

Magic of reflection
Kroc believed that reflection is a good way of learning. He devoted time and reflected on a new idea or an action. He knew that reflection could clarify thinking and help in achieving the goal effectively.

There is no Failure only Feedback or Outcome
He did not believe in failure, he knew that mistakes are only feedback or outcomes. He learned from his and other people’s mistakes. When an action did not produce the intended result, he kept on changing his approach till he got what he wanted. When he worked as a milk shake machine salesman, he noticed the mistakes made by the businesses in food industry. He then reflected on them and discovered a different approach.

Always succeeded in getting a result
Ray Kroc always succeeded. He knew he always succeeded in getting a result. Sometimes he did not get the intended result, so he kept on changing his approach till he got the intended result. When the McDonald's chain was not doing well financially, Ray Kroc changed his approach and set up a real estate subsidiary to raise extra capital. He used the money from his real estate business to make McDonald's successful.

Adaptation and Change
He believed in order to remain successful we have to adapt and change both at personal and corporate level. He believed in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) both at a personal and professional level.

High Expectations
He set high expectations for himself as well as his business partners. When McDonald brothers’ remained satisfied with an income of $100, 000 a year, Ray Kroc had a different view point. He made McDonald’s chain a multibillion-dollar corporation.

He believed in differentiation and he understood that his company and his people were unique. He helped people to identify their unique talents and supported them to grow and develop. He focussed on those unique skills and talents to beat the competition.

Long-term relationships
Ray Kroc believed in setting up a long-term relationship based on honesty, trust and understanding.

He believed that ‘United we stand and divided we fall’. He built a strong team of staff and business partners. He understood the universal principle that life is interdependent and not independent. He knew the success of his people meant his own success.

Success is a journey and not a destination
He knew that success is only a milestone, and it is a continuous journey and not a destination. Once he achieved a goal, he always set a new goal, and worked effectively to achieve it.

Experience Life Coaching
After reading this article, I am sure you feel inspired. As promised earlier, I would now introduce you to the I-CAN-DO model of life coaching. I learned this model from Curly Martin, one of the top life coaches in UK. This model was adapted from several sources, including the GROW model by John Whitmore.

First, we will apply this model to Ray Kroc’s life and see how it works. Let’s assume that you are Ray Kroc’s high profile Life Coach. Are you excited? This example will aid your understanding to use this model for coaching people. In real life, the process will be more comprehensive.

I: Investigate what is important to Ray Kroc. From the story, we can say that the most important thing to Ray Kroc was to establish a successful fast-food chain. And become effective in meeting the needs and wants of people in an elegant way.

C: Current what is the current life situation of Ray Kroc - we will assume that he is still a milk shake salesman. We also know from the story that he is 54 years old, do not have enough money, and not qualified in business education.

A: Aims what is Ray Kroc’s aim in life. He wants to set up a successful fast-food business, and have 12000 fast-food outlets all over the world.

N: Number what is the number of alternative ways available to Ray Kroc for achieving his aims. For example, he could set up a business on his own or partner with someone, but in real life, he decided to partner with McDonald brothers’.

D: Date by what date Ray Kroc want to achieve his aims. Ray Kroc started his business in 1954, and by 1984 (he died), McDonald's was worth around $4 billion. Let’s assume that in 30 years Ray Kroc envisioned his business to be worth around few billion dollars. We have to keep in mind that Ray Kroc achieved many smaller goals to reach his final goal. We will also assume that he had specific target dates for each goal.

O: Outcome what are the outcome achievement indicators to Ray Kroc. He envisioned 12000 McDonald's outlets all over the world. We will assume he had a specific target for each financial year. Other indicator of success can be a smooth financial position of McDonald's.

You have done some life coaching to Ray Kroc; now your job is to imagine how you can apply this model in your own life. At this stage, I will not give you further details, as I will cover the whole topic soon. You can take a piece of paper and start working with this model.

posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 12:57 PM,


At December 21, 2006, Blogger Enhance Life said...

Just want to say that I found your post inspiring. Thank you

Enhance Life

At December 21, 2006, Blogger Debojit Chowdhury said...

It's great to know that you liked the article. Thank you for your time. Please visit again.
God bless

At December 21, 2006, Blogger gratefulperson said...

thanks again to deb for giving me advice and help when I needed it.I am very grateful for this. I have even applied for a new job!

At December 21, 2006, Blogger Debojit Chowdhury said...

Hi grateful person wish you all the best. I am glad I could help you. Merry Christmas and a very happy new year.
God bless


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