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Subway’s $5 footlong, the brainchild of an obscure Miami franchisee, is the fast-food success story of the recession

Stuart Frankel isn’t what you’d call a power player in the world of franchising. Five years ago he owned two small Subway sandwich shops at either end of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. After noticing that sales sagged on weekends, he came up with an idea: He would offer every footlong sandwich (the chain also sells 6-subway_inch versions) on Saturday and Sunday for $5, about a buck less than the usual price. “I like round numbers,” says Frankel, a brusque New Yorker who moved to Miami in 1972 and owned a drugstore before opening his first Subway outlet in 1988.

Customers liked his round number, too. Instead of dealing with idle employees and weak sales, Frankel suddenly had lines out the door. Sales rose by double digits. (more…)

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“Leadership is the answer to everything” perspective is the modern equivalent of the “God is the answer to everything” perspective that held back our scientific understanding of the physical world in the Dark Ages.

In the 1500s, people ascribed all events they didn’t understand to God. Why did the crops fail? God did it. Why did we have an earthquake? God did it. What holds the planets in place? God. But with the Enlightenment, we began the search for a more scientific understanding-physics, chemistry, biology, and so forth. Not that we became atheists,but we gained deeper understanding about how the universe ticks.

Similarly, every time we attribute everything to “Leadership,” we’re no different from people in the 1500s. We’re simply admitting our ignorance. Not that we should become leadership atheists (leadership does matter), but every time we throw our hands up in frustration-reverting back to “Well, the answer must be Leadership!”-we prevent ourselves from gaining deeper, more scientific understanding about what makes great companies tick.

(From: Jim Collins, Good to Great)

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Leadership, a critical management skill, is the ability to motivate a group of people toward a common goal.

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