Tony Watters | Crain's Toronto

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Tony Watters


The parent company of American Dairy Queen Corporation, International Dairy Queen develops, licenses and services more than 6,700 locations across the U.S., Canada and 27 other countries. International Dairy Queen is a subsidiary of the Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The Mistake:

Changing jobs.

I once decided to leave a good thing behind in pursuit of a role with a different brand. I was well-respected at my existing place of employment, but felt that the other brand could help better accelerate my career.

My honeymoon stage with the new brand screeched to a halt pretty quickly.

Shortly after I started working for the new brand, I found myself weighed down by challenges that should have been buttoned down, already: Onboarding, start dates, compensation, access to information, training documents, and the like. It just wasn’t the right fit. Thankfully, four weeks later, the position I held at the company I left was still available for me to hop back into.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

The Lesson:

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Sometimes, there’s this nearsightedness when you start thinking about opportunity. In an industry known for its high turnover – the food industry – I really took the first employer’s stability for granted.

Before deciding to leave a company, consider what you’ve got. Beyond compensation, that means work-life balance, culture, and a passion for the work. Opportunities don’t always have to come in the form of a promotion or career advancement. Don’t leave solely for the excitement of doing something new. That was partially why I initially left, and it ended up being the wrong decision.

Follow Dairy Queen on Twitter at: @DairyQueen

Photo courtesy of International Dairy Queen, Inc.


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