Leveraging the Power of Other People
I am the people —the mob —the crowd —the mass. Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
—Carl Sandburg, 1950
People built Rome. People put a man on the moon. And it will be other people who take your business to outer space and beyond.
In 1948, Dick and Mac McDonald opened the first McDonald's self-service drive-in restaurant. They designed a system to rapidly deliver a simple menu of burgers, fries, shakes, soft drinks, and apple pies to guests.
Ray Kroc—a milkshake machine salesman—visited a McDonald's restaurant in 1955. He was impressed, and suggested McDonald's consider starting a franchise. Kroc offered to take on the burden for the unconvinced McDonald brothers. They agreed.
By 1959, 101 McDonald's restaurants had sold more than 100 million hamburgers. In 1961, Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers and went on to lead a massive expansion of the company.
As this story demonstrates, other people can help take your business to unimaginable places. They are also a critical element of the elevation principle. Other people determine where your rocket ship goes, and how quickly. The key to activating the power of other people is to do great things for them—without expecting anything in return.
This chapter will examine three types of other people who are essential to your business growth: your reader base, outside experts, and fire starters.