That doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your success.
“We celebrate the victories,” said McDermott.
But you should keep the bigger picture in mind, he continued. “What we try to keep in our culture, is the celebration’s brief, because there’s work to do.”
“If you need a rest, take a vacation. But when we’re working, we’re going.”
McDermott himself is a good advertisement for the work ethic he tries to instill in his team. As a young teen, he worked three jobs which allowed him to buy his first business — a $7,000 delicatessen in Long Island, New York state — at 16.
But it was at the age of 54, when he suffered a debilitating fall which caused him to lose his left eye, that he said he gained a new determination to succeed despite the challenges.
“I never had a single moment where I was not intending to be back in the action,” said McDermott.
“I’m the luckiest person I know,” he said.
Asked if the incident had made him a better leader as a result, he said “without doubt.”
“I see things now that I didn’t see,” said McDermott. “(Before) I could look at a forest and I knew there was a stream with a snow-capped mountain on the other side but I could see a lot of trees.
“Now, I see the snow-capped mountain with the running stream first and I look right past the trees.”
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