Quotees Archive

I still get up fairly early around six, but I work out for an hour every morning, I read often while excercising and give myself some private team. I’ll speak with administrative my administrative assistant, Donna Hughes, who is an organizational genus on the way into the office and go through the day, so by the time I get to the office around 8:30 or 9:00 I can hit the ground running…In both my workday and my life, what I try to achieve is balance.

- David Novak

I have to be ever vigilant to remain open to other people’s points of view. Just because I’m enthusiastic doesn’t necessarily mean I’m right. I have to always keep the doors open for honest communication or I could enthusiastically lead everyone right over the cliff.

- David Novak

I had already started the learning process by organizing a tour of some of the best companies out there to find out exactly what it was that made them great. I went back to the Partners’ Council and asked them to help me study the best practices of the best companies we could find. We would then use then findings to strengthen our company.

- David Novak

I focus on giving specific, real-time coaching so my teammates can benefit immediately. Larry Senn taught me a very effective tool that works in both individual and team settings. Start out by sharing, here’s what you appreciate about a person’s work. By showing appreciation, you are setting the stage for acceptance of constructive suggestions. Then offer suggestions by saying, and you can be even more effective if you do such and such. And is a much better word than but because it’s additive by buillyng on a positive versus the usually negative but everyone is expecting to hear.

- David Novak

I can’t stress enough the essential nature of really hearing what someone has to say even if it is totally contradictory to your own beliefs, and I wish this was a lesson I only had to learn once.

- David Novak

I believe in that Old Chinese Proverb, When the student is willing, the teacher appears. But I would add, It also doesn’t hurt to be a little proactive about it.

- David Novak

I believe in motivating with humor. … – David Novak CEO OF Yum! Brands

- David Novak

I always try to acknowledge what someone’s done well before talking about what could be done better. – David Novak CEO OF Yum! Brands

- David Novak

(In reference to one of his first advertising sales mentors Howard Davis)… He was 6 foot 4 with silver hair…the quintessential advertising guy. He had a glass topped desk in his office because, as he put it, he like to be able to look down and see his Guccis while he worked. Howard taught me to get things done. He was very smart but he was also an animal. He exuded power and he could be very intimidating, and he knew how to use his power to get results while still managing to be a good guy. Howard’s personal style was very different from my own, but what he did teach me was how to create a sense of urgency, how to motivate performance by getting everyone’s heart pounding.

- David Novak

Do not look like you are playing the fiddle while Rome is burning….stay focussed – Paraphrased from

- David Novak

David Novak CEO of YUM Brands (on crisis management)

- David Novak

Creating a sense of urgency around change initiatives is especially hard to do. Human nature seems to be hardwired to adhor change, and people will do everything in their power to resist it. I once heard this explained to another Pepsi consultant. His philosophy was that in order to drive change, you need to create what he called, the burning platform. This burning-platform image was an oil rig in the North Sea that has caught fire and the only way to save yourself is to jump into the frigid water and swim to the lifeboat. You know the jump might kill you, but you jump anyway, not because you think it might be a good idea, but because you had no choice. That’s creating a sense of urgency.

- David Novak

Create a vision and personalize it. People need to say, I understand it, I’m excited about it, and I can make it happen.

- David Novak

Continually get the word out about how you’re handling the situation.

- David Novak

But the three rules I always stuck with were 1) Be on time 2) No profanity and 3) Never criticize a teammate.

- David Novak

Bell took the opposite approach, building multiple restaurants in a single neighborhood to eliminate the competition. It’s a strategy that’s widely used today by many companies like Starbuck’s, Barnes & Noble, and many others, and it worked for Bell.

- David Novak

Be a coach, instead of being a boss. Rather than tell people what to do, a leader helps team members figure it out for themselves. That way, when it’s time for them to take the training wheels off, they’ll have some experience to draw on. That’s the way it was with me and Andy. We were working together, I felt like I was making all the decisions even though he had the title

- David Novak

At the same time, you have to look for detractors among the group because one bad seed can be like a leak in the dime that leads to a major flood. The best thing you can do when you find someone like that is to fire him as quickly as possible!

- David Novak

A road that leads to nowhere is hard to build.

- David Novak

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