Industry News | May 18, 2003

Lessons Learned

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As part of his presentation on "Surviving and Thriving in the Fast- Casual Industry", Qdoba president and CEO, Gary Beisler, revealed to a standing-room-only crowd the list of business-success strategies he keeps posted in Qdoba's Wheat Ridge, Colorado, corporate headquarters. Beisler credits the list, which he calls, "Most Lessons I've Learned..." for the much success he has had in guiding Qdoba to 80-plus units and $75 million in annual sales. Below is an abridged version:

  • Surround yourself with talent better than yourself.
  • Trust your intitution...it probably got you to where you are.
  • If you can't trust your people, question your judgement--you hired them.
  • Don't tolerate politics...it's a cancer
  • Foster and encourage creativity.
  • Give people rope and hold them accuntable.
  • Take risks...and encourage risk-tasking.
  • Don't let statistics and data rule your decisions.
  • Encourage people to challenge your thinking.
  • Admit failures...do an autopsy...move on.
  • Listen more than you talk...ask probing/open-ended questions.
  • Teach...be ancedotal...people can relate.
  • Be accesible, approachable, and visible.
  • Be honest and ethical.
  • Be introspective about your own performance and behavior.
  • Keep your ego in check...you didn't invent food.
  • Create opportunity, security, and wealth for everyone.
  • Don't be greedy.