Managing the Desire-Friction Ratio

“Ron’s a great CEO, but you know what he’s really terrible at?” The comedian paused for effect, looking around at the crowd.


Everyone laughed, including me. I didn’t mind being the butt of a few jokes at the Panera Family Reunion. After all, it was true. My retirement had been so short-lived that it came to be known as “Ron’s Summer Vacation.”

Initially, I’d followed through on my decision, leaving the company leadership in the capable hands of Bill Moreton in May 2010. But putting down my intense sense of personal responsibility for the company had proven harder than handing over the keys and the title. I might have thought I was ready to let go of Panera, but Panera still had a grip on my heart. ...

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