Fortune Magazine’s Dec. 7th edition ranks for the 1st time 500 companies in terms of developing leaders. My alma mater, McDonald’s, is ranked 6th in global leadership, just ahead of GE. McDonald’s CEO’s have all been substantially home-grown. I’ve had the pleasure (usually) of working in one dimension or another of public relations for all of them, from company founder Ray Kroc, to Fred Turner, to Mike Quinlan, to Jack Greenberg, to Jim Cantalupo, to Charlie Bell to current CEO Jim Skinner and Board Chair Andy McKenna. I even had the very real pleasure of directly working, in his later years, with Dick McDonald, who with his brother Mac pioneered the McDonald’s restaurant concept. While these leaders inspired and trained thousands of other leaders within the McDonald’s System, I like to think that the public relations strategies of our communications teams through the years also helped project those leaders and their initiatives to reach and influence much wider audiences.

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