Ray Kroc was the founder of McDonalds. A brand that has more than twenty five thousand stores around the world is more famous than its founder, unlike Gates or Jobs. But Ray Kroc was not any less a leader than Jobs or Gates. On the contrary, one may argue that Gates and Jobs were great innovators but Ray Kroc was a better leader.
Ray Kroc leadership style is a fascinating study. He was eccentric, a visionary and ordinary people may even find him to be a little absurd or crazy. But that’s what makes Ray Kroc leadership style all the more interesting. People living their lives by the books or by what management schools have taught them seldom emerge as great leaders. It is life that makes great leaders and they are certainly a different breed.
Ray Kroc was a visionary and even his critics agree that it was due to his vision that he became a great leader. He could see what others could not. He envisioned that McDonalds could spread from coast to coast offering the same food cooked in the same way and in the same setting to all and sundry. His friends had warned him that the venture would be a failure and he nearly lost everything he owned to establish the business. But he did not relent and did not quit. Leaders don’t quit. They don’t look at the near future or go by what others say and believe. Good leaders have their own conviction and they pursue what they want, regardless of what the world believes in.
Ray Kroc leadership style also stands out, especially in comparison with other equally talented entrepreneurs, in regards to his accepting and endorsing of others’ opinions. Most entrepreneurs of his time and even today don’t listen to others’ creative ideas and choose to have a ‘my way or the highway’ approach. Ray Kroc always worked on ideas that were good. Even the idea of McDonalds or the burgers were not his but that of a hamburger joint which he had visited.
Ray Kroc leadership style is also unique because he was a very enthusiastic leader. He could inspire people by his sheer enthusiasm for the restaurant business. Also, Ray Kroc was great at spotting talents. He hired the right talents at the right times and always thought of everyone’s interests and profits. Not many leaders would put others’ interests first, certainly not after risking all the wealth he possessed.