I'm often inspired by stories of successful entrepreneurs who attribute some of their victories in business and leadership to lessons learned in their childhood. 

Mike Abramson is a great example. He is the president of D1 Training, a leading national fitness franchise. Abramson got his first job when he was 14 years old, behind the counter at McDonald's.

Now, as the president of a multimillion-dollar company, he credits much of his success to the early lessons he learned at McDonald's. He shares five tangible tips aimed to benefit current company leaders:

1. No task is beneath you.

In a well-run restaurant, every member of the team has a role to play and must pitch in when another team member needs help or a task needs to be completed -- whether it's kitchen cleanup, scrubbing toilets, or restocking the shelves. Abramson says that, even as the company president, "some days you may find yourself mopping the floors at one of your locations." Success boils down to how much hard work you put in, period.

2. Embrace mistakes.

Abramson shared that mistakes keep you grounded, motivate you to perform better, and can lead to even better results. Just as the Big Mac was created in the kitchen by a franchisee, he advises that leaders provide their teams with freedom and flexibility to bring new ideas to the table, even welcoming failure in the process. "Have a vision, but let yourself learn and adjust by embracing mistakes along the way, knowing you're working to get it right," says Abramson. 

3. Learn how to deal with people.

Abramson learned from interacting with customers at McDonald's to expect the good, the bad, and the ugly. He found that it became necessary to improve on empathy, learn to adjust, and practice effective communication. "Regardless of your place of work, being able to communicate with your team is the key to a competent and effective workforce, which is the ultimate goal and magic ingredient for long-term success," says Abramson. 

4. Preparation matters.

Whether it was stocking the kitchen the night before, cleaning before rush times, or scheduling staff weeks out, preparation at McDonald's made all the difference. Same goes in the corporate world, says Abramson. Whether you're developing business plans, vetting vendor partnerships, or perfecting training, preparation will reduce stress and free up time to execute on other items.  

5. A positive attitude goes a long way.

Abramson says attitude--whether your own or a teammate's--is downright contagious. If your co-workers are happy, then you're more likely to be. If your customer is having a bad day, you can turn it around with a fun and optimistic conversation that will be a difference maker in their customer experience. "Be self-aware, because attitude can go a long way," says Abramson. 

Published on: Mar 29, 2019
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