How Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Are Using the ‘McDonald’s Paycheck Rule’ to Calm Fear and Inspire True Loyalty

There are many worries in the world right now. A lot of fear. Maybe you’ll wear some of it yourself.

If so, here’s something worth knowing. Because people with very high emotional intelligence understand three important things about anxiety:

First, it is rooted in emotion. It’s about the nexus of fear and imagination. Second, it is contagious. Nothing spreads worry like other people worry. And third, sometimes the best way to solve your fears is to find ways to help other people overcome their fears.

Let’s talk about Tom Philiou, the owner of a McDonald’s restaurant in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. You may recognize its name, or the city, and certainly ‘McDonald’s’.

Philiou hit the headlines earlier this month after it was revealed that he had continued to pay his employees their full salaries for three months, even while closing his restaurant for renovations.

It wasn’t cheap. And there are really smart, objective business reasons why someone could do this. For starters, if you don’t pay your employees, they leave! Then you face the challenge of replacing them when you are ready to reopen.

But as surprised as I was to find a great example of emotional intelligence at McDonald’s, several things struck me about Philiou’s story.

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There’s the question he asked himself when he realized how long the renovation would take, according to The Washington Post: “How are these people going to survive without a paycheck?”

There is the answer that he says immediately came up with: “We are going to pay everyone the full amount.”

And there’s the detail I found hidden in many reports about Philiou’s decision, which had to do with how long some of his employees worked for him:

Ed Kocsis, 55, the restaurant’s general manager, who started working there in 1982; Mary Conti, 78, a manager, who started working there in 1977. “Dozens” of other staff members, according to the Post, have worked for Philou for decades or more, “many of them progressing from maintenance to leadership positions.”

“Our turnover is very low,” Kocsis said, adding: “I think it’s because they like working here and they’re treated with respect. They feel good working here, so they want to stay.”

Why do people work in general? Of course they do that for money; most of us have to work to live. But they also do this to meet emotional needs: purpose, community, trust.

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Philiou’s renovation decision could have reversed part of that equation: his employees’ confidence seemed ripe to give way to fear.

His response wasn’t just a smart thing, though; it was emotionally intelligent.

People noticed. The workers were grateful. (“Floored and… very grateful,” Kocsis told the Post. “I loved it.”)

Heck, of all things, a Reddit thread brimming with praise:

“I grew up here and always heard that the owner of this McDonalds was a great man!” “I lived here and my wife and I would always say this is the best McDonald’s we’ve ever been to. Now I understand why. A good owner who values ​​his employees goes a long way.” “Tony … rules and this McDonald’s, no joke, is the best I’ve ever been to.”

We sometimes put names to these behaviors to make them easier to remember.

But this example of practical emotional intelligence in business is so good that I think we should give Philou his place in history by calling it the “McDonald’s Paycheck Rule.”

I know there are other companies that pay their employees even in difficult times. And as I thought about this story, I handed out some of them.

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But Philiou’s example stands out.

Perhaps it has to do with the wisdom that comes with age; Philiou is 90 years old, and as another underage entrepreneur, Warren Buffett, puts it:

“When you get to my age, you will really measure your success in life by how much of the people you want to love that you really love.”

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that he had an experience that was not all that different from that of many of his associates. Philiou has been working at McDonald’s since 1962.

And maybe it has to do with realizing that, as I write in my free ebook, 9 Simple Habits of People with Very High Emotional Intelligence, emotional intelligence is about harnessing emotions to make it more likely to achieve your goals. will reach.

If that helps calm anxiety and build your business along the way, I think it’s a pretty good rule to follow.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not’s.

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