Dave's Way

Dave's Way

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Thomas, R. David G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1991
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In approximately 30 years, the fast-food business has grown from nothing to an almost $70 billion industry, giving Thomas the biggest single stake in one of the country’s largest restaurant chains, and making him a multimillionaire. Given his humble beginnings, Thomas never expected this kind of success. His luck was just in knowing that opportunities existed. He is living proof that free enterprise gives everyone, regardless of sex, origin, creed, or color, the chance to be successful. It is a matter of ridding oneself of the "I-don’t-think-I-can" attitude and believing in "I know I can. "Thomas was accustomed to putting out a lot of volume. Working hard became a style that set a natural standard. After a stint in the Army and several positions with various restaurants, including KFC, Thomas decided it was time to realize his dream. KFC taught him the importance of image and having a personal identity tied to the restaurant. With the idea that his restaurant would be the place where people could get an old-fashioned hamburger, he chose the name Wendy’s and the logo of a smiling, wholesome littlegirl. Having role models at every stage of one’s life is critical. Thomas’ role models are as follows: His grandmother, Minnie Sinclair, taught him that if you cut corners, you lose quality and everything else. From the Regas brothers he learned that he can do anything if he really tries. Phil Clauss’s lesson was the importance of learning something new and looking for different ideas every day. Colonel Harland Sanders helped Thomas understand that because the customer has high standards, he must keep his standards high. Norman Vincent Peale’s contribution was the idea that problems become solutions when they are viewed with a positive attitude. And from George Bush, Thomas gained the understanding that leadership is the ability to set priorities and to stick with your goals, even when things get rough.