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Learning to assess people

Emil Brolick, President and CEO, Wendy’s

“The biggest mistakes I’ve made are people mistakes,” Brolick told Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association in front of a packed audience at the Restaurant Leadership Conference.

“I brought someone into the organization and it didn’t work out,” he said. “It’s hard to assess people when you’re in the trenches. If you recruit someone who doesn’t work out for the brand, for the company or for you, a confidence is lost. Admit the mistake and move on.”

Those people mistakes didn’t happen too often for Brolick, as Sweeney pointed out. “There are legions of people in the industry who say you have had a tremendous effect on them,” she said. That is a legacy Brolick is proud of, he admitted. “You hope that some of the people you nurtured will continue to grow,” he said. “You have to be the driving force, but it can’t just be your vision and strategy. When others believe it, it brings your vision to life.” 

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