Herman Cain — RIP: Chairman of Godfather’s Pizza, and President of the National Restaurant Association

“What an exciting time to be starting a career in the restaurant industry! Never before have there been so many — or such a wide variety of — career opportunities from which to choose. Today more than 9.5 million people are employed in our industry, and by 2005 this number will grow to 11 million.

This unparalleled industry growth will require a 14 percent increase in the workforce over the next eight years, bringing with it tremendous career opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. I know from personal experience that success in the restaurant industry is not determined by experience or level of education, but by drive, dedication, and hard work. I began my working life as a dishwasher and rose through the ranks of The Pillsbury Company and the Burger King Corporation. Today I am the chairman of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., based in Omaha, Nebraska, and chief executive officer and president of the National Restaurant Association.

This is not to say that a formal education is unimportant. As in all industries, the more training and education an individual has, the more likely it is that he or she will begin employment at a higher level of income and responsibility. High schools and vocational schools offer courses in foodservice that often include a part-time internship in a restaurant. Junior and community colleges offer associate degrees in various aspects of foodservice, and four-year universities provide bachelor’s degrees in restaurant management.

The scope of the restaurant industry is enormous, generating $336 billion in annual sales and representing more than 4 percent of the gross domestic product. It comes in a multitide of forms, including table-service and quick-service restaurants, institutional feeders such as hospitals and schools, and catering companies. In restaurant companies, opportunities exist in the ‘front of the house,’ ‘the back of the house,’ and in the office. Managerial and administrative positions, as well as corporate careers in the fields of marketing, sales, accounting, business, and research, also are available.

Increasing numbers of women are launching careers int he restaurant industry, as are mid-life career changers, single parents, new immigrants to this country, and senior citizens. Many who enter the industry as a first-time job or as a way-stop that helps fill a certain need at a certain time, discover that the industry offers unlimited opportunities for growth, and that success is based on performance, not on gender, age, or color. Employers, realizing that satisfied employees means satisfied customers, are beginning to offer innovative incentives and benefits in order to attract and keep the best and brightest employees.

As we approach the millenium, America’s evergrowing interest in food and dining out will continue to fuel our industry and provide us with both challenges and opportunities. I encourage you to explore the many career possibilities in our dynamic industry. And, above all, I encourage you always to follow your heart and reach for your dreams.”

-Herman Cain

-Excerpt courtesy of Archive.org, “Opportunities in Restaurant Careers,” by Carol Ann Caprione Chmelynski, Foreword by Herman Cain, Chief Executive Officer and President, National Restaurant Association, 1998

You’re Wrong, Norman Vincent

The setting-a-goal- theory of success

“Next to believing in yourself comes setting a goal. If you study the self-help books, you’ll find that you can’t be successful without one. First you start with a life goal. Then you set 5-year goals, 10-year goals, 15-year goals, etc.

If you study reality, you begin to wonder. If your goal was to be chief executive of a computer company, would you have spent the first 16 years of your working life with a cola company? Probably not. Yet that’s what Apple chairman John Sculley did.

It works in the other direction too. If you wanted to own a pizza chain, would you have started out in computers, eventually taking the job of vice president of MIS at Pillsbury? That’s what Herman Cain, president of Godfather’s Pizza, did.

If you wanted to be Vice President of the United States at the age of 41, would you have spent four years in college drinking beer, playing golf, and getting grades of Cs and Ds? Dan Quayle did.

Dan Quayle’s grandmother once told him, ‘You can be anything you want if you just try hard enough.’

Not true. Dan Quayle didn’t make Dan Quayle Vice President of the United States at the age of 41. George Bush did.

In our democratic egalitarian society, people have forgotten the classic definition of the road to success: It’s not what you know that counts. It’s who you know.

If you think that’s a terrible way to run a country, you have company. So do we. It might be terrible, but it’s also typical.

When you set a goal for yourself, you assume that your efforts alone will enable you to reach that goal. Very seldom is that true. You can’t get to heaven all by yourself. You need a little help from God.

When you set a goal for yourself, you also put on ‘blinders.’ You miss opportunities which are not ‘in the main sequence.’ If you know where you’re going, then you are not going to see the side road which often leads to the opportunity of a lifetime. You suffer from ‘tunnel vision.’

Most people do. If there is one common mistake in marketing yourself, it is setting a personal goal and then failing to see other possibilities as they develop.

When you set a goal for yourself, you also take the mystery and excitement out of life. ‘If you always know exactly what you want,’ said Pablo Picasso, ‘that will be the most you’ll ever find.’

When you set a goal for yourself, you usually forget that others are setting goals too. If everybody wants to be king of the hill, the hill is going to get a little crowded. Try the valley instead.

According to Playboy magazine, 41 percent of American parents want a child of theirs to become President of the United States. With roughly 80 million families and two children per family, there are some 65 million kids with their eyes on Washington, D.C.

Look the other way.

Keep your options open. Don’t lock yourself into a goal. For many people the future can be more exciting, more glamorous, and more rewarding than they could possibly imagine.

‘I don’t know where I’m going,’ said Daniel Richard Cooperman, 1989 graduate of Portledge Prep School on Long Island, ‘but I can’t wait to get there.’

Even after you have arrived, the road that took you there is never straight. ‘Life is a cobweb,’ said Ross Perot. ‘The lines cross at funny angles. Whether you’re successful or not doesn’t depend on how good your plans are, especially those five-year strategic plans business schools teach. Success depends on how you react to unexpected opportunities.’

Tom Peters echos the same idea: ‘I don’t like the whole notion of career planning. I’ve never had a formula, never had a life plan. I’ve taken advantage of luck when it came along.’ And he adds, ‘Luck is 98 percent of the deal.’

Both Ross Perot and Tom Peters are iconoclasts. They don’t hesitate to attack traditional ideas. Most people, when they get to the top, proceed to cover their tracks. They never credit luck or being in the right place at the right time. Rather they credit hard work, setting goals, and believing in themselves.

They don’t want you to know how they did it. It’s a lot more satisfying to maintain the myth of merit. When you hear the head honcho or honcha give the speech about the wonderful opportunities that exist in the company for a person with ability who works hard, just say ‘Dan Quayle’ ten times under your breath. It will keep your mind clear to recognize the real way up the ladder of success.”

-Excerpt courtesy of Archive.org, “Horse Sense: The Key to Success is Finding a Horse to Ride,” by Al Ries and Jack Trout

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