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VINE VOICEon 15 February 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is not your traditional heavy-read management principles book but rather a light read promoting the corporate culture of a large organisation from the viewpoint of a manager within the organisation. Obviously, this organisation is McDonald's.

The book itself is split into seven chapters which each detail one of the seven leadership principles. These are: honesty and integrity, relationships, standards, leading by example, courage, communications and recognition. Each of these different chapters is generally a recitation of stories and experiences of the writer, reinforced by the 'lessons learned' and 'key learnings' from each principle. Many of these stories appear to be quite basic but I suppose that the basic things are the foundation for a good business so I can't really fault this approach. Having said that, it does mean that people that already have a background or knowledge of management may find this book a little rudimentary.

My main criticism of the book would be that the writer only ever spoke about the positives of the organisation, never the negatives and how they were overcome. This would have made the book a little more interesting and as it is, the question of 'why has McDonald's been successful?' is never really answered.

Overall, it's not a terrible book and one that you could easily dip in an out of. However, I would recommend it more to those new to management or for someone that has no prior knowledge of the subject. Because of this I would only give it 3 stars.
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VINE VOICEon 12 January 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm about to start a management course with work and thought I'd give this a try. We maybe a different industry but the tasks are the same. Unfortuantely the book was like a McDonalds meal - of poor quality and unsatisfying.

It could actually be a propaganda handbook for the company itself. There is so much backslapping and talk of how good everyone is who works for the company. Saying that this is written wearing rose tinted spectacles is an understatement.

The are some good points to be made about management skills but they are glossed over for more stories about the great way that McD's was run. This would have been better if the focus was more on the skills of leadership and less about McD's or how good the writer was as a manager in driving sales.

Maybe I was expecting to much from someone who had spent 33 years working for the company. It reminded me of the books I read by "great" insurance salesman when I first started work. They followed the same formula and said very little of use that you couldn't work out with common sense.

If you want to learn about management then this is not the book for you. However this book will be bought in its millions by employees of McD's - if only because the management will refer to it as a manual.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The British are a notoriously cynical people and lack the joyous pursuit of wealth that is usually credited to Americans (both are stereotypes of course). So British readers of this self-help book on business leadership are going to find the relentless enthusiasm a bit hard to take. Paul Facella has done well by McDonalds and it has done well by him. Not unsurprisingly he takes a very positive view of that success. Whether or not he avoids some unpleasant events (as we expect, or perhaps hope) does not alter the values of his points which, though extracted from his experience beneath the Golden Arches, are of general application. In a world where business leaders and managers seem to have to be graduates and an underclass separated from upper management builds the McDonalds route has a interestingly democratic tinge to it.

This book operates at several levels. It is firstly. a hymn to working at McDonalds (Facella knew many of the men who built this business). It is also then an attempt to extract from the McDonalds method some universal lessons. Finally, it is Paul Facella's proposal of some interesting management ideas. I found the book well worth reading based just on the last of these (the others were of interest but less so). The points are rather old fashioned, but that should come as little surprise, since so are people. The general tenor of a system that aims to reward all staff even if by small increments, and to permit staff to rise from crew-member to boss, is a great dealm more inclusive, I suspect, than the cult of the leader that has crashed and burned in finance in 2008.

I certainly found a few ideas worth stealing, but I do confess I found it more enthusiastic than I could always bear. I'll just go and grouse at the cricket for a bit...
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VINE VOICEon 27 April 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A real eye-opener of a book about behind the scenes of the corporate machine that is the big golden arches of McDonalds. The writers focus on their experience working their way up the Mcdonalds ladder in a sentimental and direct way. Their relationships, planning, heirachy are all laid out in a over simplified, but understandable way.

The experiences are not stand-out amazing, but grounded in reality without any glossiness

. For instance, one section, Facella was in a dilemma in what to do when one of his close friend and hard-working employee, lashed out at a schedule in front of the rest of the working team. Using tact and balancing friendship with his responsibilities as a manager, he outlines why he made the decision and its lasting impact on the relationship was maintained, whilst ensuring he did not lose face in front of his other employees.

Would be leaders would be wise to take a few lessons like these on board.
It is possible for managers and employees to have friendships. However, it's easier to say than do, as many can find in the world of work.

At times, it is fulfilling to realise that the truly honest and humble people reach the top, and stay at the top of their game, in a world where being obnoxious, dis-honest and self-centered is seen by many as the key to succeeding in the business world, as well as other professions.

A useful read if just to humble yourself.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 January 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The last chapter alone is worth the price of this book. One thing that most companies fail to do is 'recognize' their employees - noticing when a good job has been done and giving some appropriate reward or acknowledgment of this.

Very few companies bother to pay recognition to their staff at all - and yet it is the one major thing which will lead to unswerving employee loyalty. Keeping your employees happy, doesn't necessarily mean throwing money at them. A fair wage for the job with recognition sprinkled in will go a heck of a lot further than just money. Money on it's own doesn't buy loyalty and that's why this book is a must-read for any business large or small.

This book starts off very well, gets a little dry and repetitive in the middle and finishes with a bang. I never expected to enjoy a book about how McDonalds do business quite so much!

I'm so tempted to send this anon to a friend's place of work who disgustingly have never recognized his achievements at all - on his 25th year of working there he was given a big fat nothing - not even a card to mark the occasion. Unsurprisingly he no longer has any loyalty to his job at all, simply goes in, does the bare minimum he can do and that's it. The company are struggling to stay afloat.

Anyone who is serious about doing good business should read this. Very valuable information and a surprisingly good read.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Management consultants tend to be people with a loud voice, an annoying line in confusing jargon and a skin thick enough to shield them from the fact that they have achieved nothing in their own realm of expertise. A definite example of misplaced confidence then. Books written by these type of people are as useless as their creators in that they sell the obvious as the profound. Americans are the founding fathers of the management consultant, the pioneers of the pointless. But there is no getting away from the fact that McDonalds is a massively successful business and Paul Facella a successful part of their system. This is a simply written book that - largely - avoids management-speak and hammers home a few simple messages by interviewing staff and recalling stories of success and failure from throught this history of the company. The result is a book that is part McDonalds biography and part lesson business, lessons that people at all levels within a business would do well to follow. Facella's claim that McDonalds is a moral guardian is a little difficult to swallow, but this book prooves that its not necessarily fair to just slavishly accuse them of being part of the big-bad-corporate system either. A very enjoyable management book - a first?!
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VINE VOICEon 29 January 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I like the laid-back writing style of the authors, and it's an interesting book, engaging in parts, but is obviously another advertising vehicle for Maccy D's. I should have known what to expect though. It reminds of a DVD production manual I bought a few years ago that was basically an advertisement for a piece of software dressed up to be the definitive guide on DVD production. Even the McDonald corporate colours on the front cover should have been a dead giveaway.

However, it would be too harsh to say that this is a book of useless information. The book points out that McDonalds is a $40billion business, and you don't build a business like that without knowing something about managing people and business.

So to sum up, it's a blatant advertising vehicle for McDonalds, pretty well written, but read it with an open mind and without the preconceptions you probably have about their business.
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VINE VOICEon 14 January 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First thing's first, Macdonald's are very, very good at what they do, and this book explains the principles. There were some very impressive statements about dealing with suppliers and much that goes against what you might think about such a large corporation.

There is a value in repetition, but within 100 pages, it became oppressive, and a little cult-like. Leaders are treated with a slightly creepy adulation by the authors, and there is very much a 'with us or against us' atmosphere.

In the end, there's not that much I will be incorporating into my business life from this book. I'll try to cultivate more of a trustful coopertive environment, and make sure that everyone knows what we're trying to do, but I could have learned as much from a five minute speech and that doesn't make for a great book.
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VINE VOICEon 26 March 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's difficult to see who this book is aimed at, the only good thing is that the author is a company man who seems to be genuinely fond of McDonalds and his time in the company.

As for the rest of the book, the book rarely seems to rise above the trite. Apparently clear communications is good - who knew! Also there seems to be little attempt to separate lessons that work in a fast food environment, and general strategies for business. It is far from clear that rewards will motivate people in say the software industry (see Joel Spolsky), and these schemes may backfire in businesses where the output isn't overtly measurable.

It's a pleasant read, but there isn't any particularly useful information here for the general reader.
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VINE VOICEon 15 January 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Well, this is a tough book to review as it follows and explains how everyday business decisions can be influenced by following the, rather successful, admittedly, McDonalds principles between business, staff and achieving goals in life.
It is a good read, but the principles in the book are complicated to follow, especially if you are a small business, and a lot of what it contains is basic common sense.
So, if you are curious as to how McDonalds follow such a strong model at all times, and have developed such worldwide success, then this could be a book of great interest; For the rest, then it makes a minor read, sometimes confusing, sometimes seemingly irrelevent, but basically mind fodder, and all highly subjective, of course.
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