Jim Skinner's long term career and experience within the McDonald's corporation makes him a very valuable asset to the corporation. After serving nearly ten years in the United States Navy, Skinner began his career with McDonald's as a restaurant manager trainee, and since then has held several leadership positions within the corporation. Prior to being named CEO, Skinner served as Vice Chairman of McDonald's corporation and had management responsibility for several International markets, in addition to overseeing most corporate staff functions. Over the years, Skinner has received several awards and honors including, Dow Jones' "CEO of the Year," "America's Best CEOs" by Institutional Investor magazine and Barron's "30 Most Respected CEO's."
The four functions of management include planning, organizing, leading and controlling. An effective leader must also possess the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to attain goals in an effective manner to aid in the organization's success. Jim Skinner's vision, desired long term goals and accomplishments since attaining his position has shown that he is operating within the four management functions. Upon becoming CEO in 2004, Jim Skinner set three top priorities for his leadership; long-term sustainable growth for the company; talent management and leadership development; and promoting balanced active lifestyles. His leadership turned the company around and refocused on customer strategies, business disciplines and close global alignment.
Planning is defined as the development of action-oriented plans for achieving an organization's purpose, mission, goals and objectives in the short and long term (Dumler & Skinner, 2008). In order for an organization to be economically successful, planning is required. Although uncertainty is often present in the planning process, a leader must be able to cope with and adapt to that uncertainty. Jim Skinner entered into his position with clearly defined goals and objectives. In order to attain these goals and objectives, he incorporated Systematic Planning, which involves planning at all levels of the organization. At the beginning of his tenure as CEO of McDonald's, Skinner met with several other McDonald's Corporate Executives to tackle a big problem, the company, by most measures was doing terribly. His intended goal for this meeting was to strategically plan the necessary changes that needed to take place within each function of the organization. As a result of this meeting, Skinner charged each function the task of helping to reverse the company's sliding image and profits. Skinner named this strategy "Plan to Win."
Skinner's Plan to Win strategy possessed the six steps of the Planning Process. Step 1 involved Identifying Current Conditions. Skinner recognized from the beginning that the McDonald's corporation was in terrible shape. Although the restaurant was well known, Skinner knew that the competition was increasing as other fast food chains were developing and expanding nationally and internationally. His plans included taking a broad look at the organization internally and externally; and understanding the current conditions and how to address them. Skinner's long term experience within the McDonald's corporation allows him to have a vast knowledge of all operations.