David Novak, Yum! Brands: «Taking People With You»

Louisville / KY. (yb) How do you lead an organization of any size – from a tiny start-up to a global giant – to make big things happen? Yum! Brands Inc., the world´s largest restaurant company, announced the publication of «Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen» by David Novak, Yum! chairman and chief executive officer. Novak shares the secrets of the unique «Taking People With You» leadership program he has developed and taught during his fifteen years at Yum! to thousands of managers and franchisees around the world.

Whether starting a business, developing or launching a new product, moving a company in a new direction or raising money for a good cause, «Taking People With You» has the answers to empower people at all levels personally and professionally. The book offers a step-by-step guide to setting big goals, getting others on board, achieving break-through results and celebrating after people «shock the skeptics». Specific tools are included at the end of each chapter that challenge readers to reflect on how they are doing on key aspects of leadership.

Novak teaches leaders will never make big things happen until they learn how to get people aligned, enthusiastic and focused relentlessly on the mission. Yum!´s track record of success, with at least 13 percent earnings-per-share growth for each of the last nine years, proves his point. Under his leadership, Yum! has established itself as a global powerhouse going from approximately 20 percent profits coming from outside the U.S. in 1997 to more than 65 percent in 2010, while driving one of the highest returns on invested capital in the restaurant industry. Today, Yum! is the leading retail developer in China as well as the largest and fastest growing restaurant company in emerging markets with a two-to-one advantage over its nearest competitor. Additionally, Novak has built Yum!´s entire global people-first culture around reward and recognition to drive results.

«Taking People With You» is filled with street-smart wisdom from David Novak as well as leadership advice from other renowned business icons and management experts such as Warren Buffett, Jack Welch, John O´Keeffe (creator and author of «Business Beyond the Box»), Larry Senn (chairman and founder of Senn Delaney) and many others. It teaches people to change the way they think about leadership and practice it such as:

  • Get inside the heads of your people. You cannot convince them of anything until you see the world from their perspective.
  • Think big. If your sales growth last year was 3,5 percent, do not aim for four percent this year, aim for 15 percent. Even if you fail, you will probably do better than you would have with a smaller goal.
  • Practice «extraordinary authenticity». Show occasional vulnerability and admit when you do not have the answers.
  • Look for good ideas in unexpected places. Earlier in Novak´s career when he was head of the Frito-Lay account at an advertising agency, he and his team came up with the idea for Cool Ranch Doritos during a field trip to a grocery store´s salad dressing aisle.
  • Choose a can-do mind-set. There is a huge difference between a boss who says «We can try this» and one who says «We can do this».
  • Cheer for first downs, not just touchdowns. Publicly recognizing and rewarding small wins keeps everyone motivated for the long haul.
  • Get rid of cynics. In many teams one person will reject your values and spread negative energy. Moving that person out will show everyone else you are serious.

Whether you are a CEO, an entrepreneur or new to the business world, «Taking People With You» will help you get into the right leadership mind-set, develop a strategy and build alignment and follow-through on the execution of the plan.

All of Novak´s proceeds from «Taking People With You» will be donated to the United Nations World Food Programme in conjunction with Yum! Brands global hunger relief efforts.

About David Novak

Recognized as one of the world´s «30 Best CEOs» by Barron´s, one of the «Top People in Business» by Fortune and one of the «100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World» by Harvard Business Review, Yum! chairman and chief executive officer David Novak is known for motivating people, cultivating leaders and building winning teams. He is also the recipient of the national 2008 Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship. Prior to leading Yum!, he was president of both KFC and Pizza Hut and held senior management positions at PepsiCo. He lives in Louisville (KY) with his wife. He is also the author of «The Education of an Accidental CEO»: Lessons Learned from the Trailer Park to the Corner Office (2007) that chronicles his personal journey to chairman and chief executive officer and the lessons that proved valuable along the way.

About Yum! Brands

Yum! Brands Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, is the world´s largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants with more than 36’000 restaurants in more than 117 countries and 1,4 million company and franchise associates. Yum! is ranked No. 214 on the Fortune 500 List, with revenues of more than eleven billion USD in 2010. The Company´s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened approximately four new restaurants each day of the year, making it a leader in international retail development. The Company has consistently been recognized for its reward and recognition culture, diversity leadership, community giving and consistent shareholder returns.