During my protracted college career, I once held a part-time job at a Mexican restaurant. While there, Joe, the general manager, gave me a brief but unforgettable lesson on how to implement a culture of successful change.

Prior to my being hired, I was told the place was in disarray, bleeding cash as well as inventory -- with much of that being carried out the back door under the cover of darkness. Employee turnover, particularly among the kitchen and waitstaff, resembled the turnstile to New York's No. 4 subway line at rush hour.

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