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McDonald’s magic McNugget: courtesy

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

There’s leadership magic in a company that turns kitchen helpers into millionaires.

The evidence is in Everything I Know About Business I Learned at McDonald’s, a compendium of simple wisdom by Paul Facella, who started working at Mickey D’s as a teenager and retired as a regional vice president.

But along with the usual big concepts—high standards, integrity and even courage—Facella also talks about a small one: courtesy.

When he first met company founder Ray Kroc in 1978, Facella was a young operations director. Kroc was escorting the young man and a colleague to dinner at the 21 Club in Manhattan.

As they climbed into a limo, Facella went for a fold-down chair, tacitly offering Kroc the plush back seat. The company founder stopped him, saying: “You are my guest tonight. You sit in the comfortable seat.” The encounter “pretty much blew me away,” Facella says.

It was a lesson he tried to copy throughout his career.

—Adapted from “McNuggets of Wisdom at McDonald’s,” Michael Arndt, BusinessWeek.

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