Several years ago industry veteran David Pickens was demonstrating to a group of Darden Restaurants Inc. colleagues the difficulties of running a restaurant. A gifted juggler, Pickens stood before the crowd adding more and more items to those he had in motion as he discussed the complexities of day-to-day operations. “He was juggling all kinds of things on stage and he kept adding things,” recalls Blaine Sweatt, a 30-year Darden veteran who worked with Pickens until his ...

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