Getting to Yes, And

Cameron Mitchell: Yes is the Answer


Cameron Mitchell

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A lot of companies use the credo that the ‘customer comes first.’ That’s not how you see it or express it.

“Our core value is our associates come first. And I tell people our company is built by its people for its people. I look at it as a triangular relationship. We have a direct relationship with our people that we see everyday and work with every single day - and we care about them and they know we care about them - and they know they're our most important assets. Then they take care of our guests and our guests take care of our company. So it's really a triangle relationship.”

You talk in the book about the importance of not being punitive simply because someone made a mistake.

Well, it's also how the mistake is made. I call them mistakes of the mind and mistakes of the heart. If you make mistakes in the mind, it’s because you made a wrong decision - which I've made many of them. That's why I say I'd be the first to go if I fired people who made mistakes. No one's made costlier mistakes for the company than I have, but they were mistakes of the mind. It wasn't a mistake of the heart where, you know, my heart was in the right place. I was still espousing the values of the company; I lived the values. And so if people are making mistakes with the heart, that's when we have a serious problem. It's when they don't care or they're stealing from you or those things, those are where the heart is no longer in the right place. And I would say integrity takes years to build and days to ruin.”

You also talk about how - as a leader - you really need to have a ‘we’ orientation over a ‘me’ orientation.

“I am the leader for this company, there's no doubt about that. But at the end of the day, I'm still one person. I am just one person out of 500, not to mention all the wonderful partners we have in purveyors and guests and communities that have supported us along the way. So our success is based on thousands and thousands of people. So for me to ever take any credit, above and beyond just my role as a leader of the company is a fruitless endeavor because, you know, I wouldn't be here and I'm I'm blessed to be surrounded by incredible people and an incredible organization. So that's just the way I look at. I can't really look at it any other way.”

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