An interesting read…

Long before I retired from the Marine Corps I had another career of sorts.  Like millions of other young men and women I needed a job while I was in high school to earn a little money for the important things in life like a car, parachute pants, and new wave music albums.

So, like those millions of other people I looked for a job.  Oddly enough, I found that my qualifications as a sixteen year old high junior in high school precluded me from a lucrative career in wealth management or professional sports, so I ended up filling out a job application at McDonald’s.

It was a popular place to work –  lots of my friends wore paper hats and polyester uniforms there and I figured I could too.  To make a long story short, I was hired and spent quite a few years there as I worked my way through college in pursuit of my Marine Officer’s commission.

Fast forward a few decades and it turns out that a lot of the lessons that I learned at the Golden Arches proved to be invaluable in my successful career as a Marine.  So much so, in fact, that I was extremely fortunate and honored to be included in a new book that portrays the success stories of over 40 people who started out at McDonald’s.

The book is called Golden Opportunity: Remarkable Careers that Began at McDonald’s.  Here is the description of the book from

“What do 20 million Americans have in common with Tonight Show host Jay Leno, founder Jeff Bezos, actress Andie MacDowell, and former White House chief of staff Andrew Card?

They all started their working careers at a McDonald’s restaurant, learning some of the most important lessons of their lives. Golden Opportunity is a myth-busting collection of 44 profiles of people who went from flipping burgers to building remarkable careers in business, the arts, politics, science, the military, and sports. 

Over the past six decades, millions of teens have earned their first paychecks under the Golden Arches. Whether they stayed for a year or a career, they learned work habits, basic skills, and the business principles that have made McDonald’s one of the best-run companies in the world. 

Their journeys remind us that at the beginning of every success story there is the first paycheck from the first “real” job. That first job is not a dead end, it is a young person’s rite of passage into adult responsibility. The author’s compelling personal story—growing up in modest circumstances with a strong work ethic—gives a unique voice to the experiences of leading entrepreneurs, entertainment figures, and others who represent a cross section of American enterprise. They recall what they learned in their first jobs at McDonald’s and how those lessons helped them build their remarkable careers. 

Including a foreword by Willard Scott—the original Ronald McDonald—and the 10 Golden Opportunity Keys to Success, this collection of stories will leave you wondering what today’s burger flippers will achieve tomorrow. “

It is a great honor to be included in such an impressive and incredible list of talented and successful people!  The book is newly released this month, and my part in it has been picked up by the media in press releases and stories about the book in Forbes, at Fast Company, and at CNBC:

Forbes Article

Fast Company Article


It is really an honor and I am thrilled to be a part of such a great project.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, you can follow this link to the book on

Golden Opportunity: Remarkable Careers that Began at McDonald’s

It is a great book with some very interesting stories as well as a host of valuable lessons about leadership, management, and life in the business world.  I can’t recommend it highly enough!


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