Golden Opportunity: Remarkable Careers That Began at McDonald’s – Book review
“My story is the rule rather than the exception to the McJob myth, which inaccurately denigrates much of the quick-service restaurant industry and other sectors like retail and convenience stores”
Writes vice president and general manager of the Rocky Mountain region for McDonald’s USA, Cody Teets in her eye opening and inspirational book Golden Opportunity: Remarkable Careers That Began at McDonald’s. The author provides the very personal stories of successful people who began their careers at McDonald’s Restaurants, and shares the important business and life lessons learned while employed at the Golden Arches.
Cody Teets recognizes the underlying benefits that result from employment flipping burgers at McDonald’s. Far from being a low skilled, dead end job that provides little more than a pay check, the author demonstrates through the personal stories, that the benefits are much more than commonly thought. Cody Teets points out that working at McDonald’s develops personal discipline, self confidence, personal responsibility, and a sense of teamwork. At the same time, the author provides evidence that the job provides a unique opportunity to learn and practice leadership roles at a relatively young age. Cody Betts offers insights into how employment under the famed Golden Arches developed skills and outlooks on life that last a lifetime.
Cody Teets understands that there are important skills and life lessons that can result from any job. Instead of viewing the pay check as the only end, despite its importance for economic and personal reasons, the personal accounts presented demonstrate that job value beyond the money.
The book contains the personal, and very revealing accounts, of well known business leaders and celebrities, whose first job was at McDonald’s Restaurants. Some of those high achieving people include:
1950s: Lester E. Stein, Jr., James McGovern, Philip E. Rosner, Ph.D.
1960s: Jay Leno, Andrew h. Card, Jr., Henry “Hank” James Thomas
!970s: Andie McDowell, Leroy Chiao, Ph.D., Carla Harris
1980s: Jeffrey P. Bezos, Marlene Gonzalez, Laurieann Gibson
1990s: Jerry W. Hairston, Jr., Karen Wells
2000s: Eddie Davenport, Fatima Poggi
For me, the power of the book is how Cody Teets combines the personal accounts of well known people, currently successful McDonald’s franchisees and executives, with the leadership and life lessons learned on the job. The author, and the profiled individuals, make it clear that taking a position flipping burgers under the Golden Arches, is not a dead end job. Indeed, for the individuals contributing to the book, the job was their step forward into understanding leadership, teamwork, and personal responsibility. Those traits, learned on the job, have served the employees past, present, and future very well.
Since many of the contributors went on to executive or franchisee leadership roles with McDonald’s, including the author, the idea that there is no advancement within that organization is false. McDonald’s identifies talented people, and promotes from within. That promote from within concept has also carried over in the careers of the former McDonald’s employees. As one of the world’s best run companies, McDonald’s business model and processes are valuable case studies in and of themselves. The individuals profiled in the book learned those lessons and skills from within the company itself.
I highly recommend the very personal and life lesson filled book Golden Opportunity: Remarkable Careers That Began at McDonald’s by Cody Teets, to anyone who is seeking a job, a career changes, or in understanding more deeply the lessons that can be learned from employment at McDonald’s Restaurants. This book will open your eyes to why the idea of the misnamed McJob is not only false, but does a disservice to the people who launched their successful careers under the Golden Arches.