I have read that John F. Kennedy made his presidential decisions based on two criteria:

1.) Was he doing what was in the best interests of his country?

2.) How would future historians evaluate his decision-making?

There is no doubt that he was driven by ambition. JFK always strived to be the best or do his best so a positive light was cast upon him. I am certain this drive is what elevated him to the office of President.

So when he said, “Once you settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.”, he truly meant that literally.

In the restaurant business, this also holds true. If you are happy being so-so, you will stay so-so. But if you want to be the best sandwich shop in your area, for example, then you need to continue to work to reach that level. Find the best meats, cheese, produce. Maybe you bake your own bread or purchase from a local bakery so everything is fresh. Find, train and retain the best employees who learn your customers by name. Going above and beyond will help you rise to the top.   

I know this is easier said than done, but another great JFK quote paraphrased, we choose to go to the moon, not because it’s easy, but because its hard.  When you commit to doing the hard things well, you will destroy your competition. When you settle and just accept that it is hard, you will settle for second place results.

Action Step:

I understand this quote can make things seem impossible. I mean he was JFK!!! You’re probably thinking how in the world can I be number 1? I recommend starting with reading The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. In their book, Keller and Papasan challenge you to find one thing you could do in your business to dramatically change the destiny of future profits and performance of that business. One thing! When you look at it that way, the task isn’t so daunting after all.

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