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Lessons for First-Time CEOs From Medifast’s Mike MacDonald

Three core premises are applicable to first-time leaders, to first-time CEOs, and to everyone going into new leadership roles. Mike MacDonald learned these during his 33 years at Xerox and is applying them in a whole new light as CEO of Medifast.

MacDonald’s Approach:

1. Leading is different than managing. MacDonald said at Xerox, leading over 50,000 employees and $6.5 billion in revenue, “My job was to execute, turning around Xerox’s North American operations and growing revenue and profit.” While executing is still a big part of the job, MacDonald’s main focus at Medifast is managing three critical processes:

The strategic process – MacDonald manages the process differently than at Xerox, as Medifast is a smaller, more nimble operation. MacDonald charted a strategic direction, including a partnership with MEDIX, a leader in pharmaceutical obesity products in Mexico, to distribute Medifast products in Mexico, South America and Central America.

The operating committee or operating process – MacDonald strives for C-suite relationships that respect and encourage independent thinking with the belief that the best ideas often come from a good debate. This has led to an executive team that provides consultative support to drive key decisions impacting the performance and direction of Medifast through operating strategies and processes to drive company efficiency and future scalability.

Read more: Forbes

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