When I was around 18, I worked as a shift manager at McDonald’s Corporation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. One of the assistant managers that helped me get promoted and then trained me was a man named Don Griffin. I admired Don because he cared about the work that he did and he cared about me and the rest of his employees. He was also very focused on producing results for the company. Don had a huge influence on my work ethic and basic management philosophy.
Over the years, I’ve never forgotten Don telling me “Performance talks, bullshit walks.” I could count on hearing it every time I tried to give Don an excuse for poor performance. That simple concept still influences how I interpret almost every interaction I have with people in my various work related roles.
I’m OK with folks dropping the ball and making occasional mistakes, and I’m OK with people not delivering as promised from time to time. We all do it – including me. But I have a very low tolerance for folks that won’t accept responsibility for their mistakes. I’ve never known anyone commit to fixing a problem without first admitting “I screwed up.”
Don still lives in the Tulsa area, and he and his wife have a son named Bret.
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