My Boss, Herman Cain. What Kind of Leader Is GOP Frontrunner?


At both Burger King and Godfather's, Wiggins had a front-row seat to watch how Cain dealt with difficult people and difficult situations.

"I've rarely seen him get angry, but there was one time, in Philly, when one of the Burger King franchisees wanted to expand. He was not a very good franchisee, not always up to par on quality control or customer friendliness. Herman told him he would not be allowed to expand, and explained why. This franchisee was African American, and he insulted Herman by telling him he was just a tool for 'The Man' and that Herman did not respect his own race."

Cain, responding, did not raise his voice. "But you could tell," says Wiggins, "that he was totally angry and pissed off." Cain told the man: "I am going to have to excuse myself, because if I do not, I will do something out of character for me. It's on your behalf that I'm going to leave."

He handled it very well, thinks Wiggins, who recalls that at Godfather's, "There were never any screaming matches."

Cain told Wiggins: "How you handle anger or adversity is just as important as how you handle yourself when things are going good. People are watching you. They won't put their trust in you if you don't behave with dignity."

Wiggins recalls a time, shortly after Cain and a group of executives had acquired Godfather's from Pillsbury in a leveraged buyout, when Cain had to deal with a senior information technology executive who was upset that in the transition he had not been made head of IT.

"Because we were no longer part of Pillsbury, we needed good IT people tremendously," recalls Wiggins. The man gave Cain what amounted to an ultimatum: either Cain gave him the top spot, or he'd be leaving. Said Cain: "Look, we need you. But as for your being the top person, we'll have to figure that out as we move forward."

That wasn't good enough for the executive, who renewed his threat to leave. Says Wiggins, "Herman told the guy, 'Look, you need to go home and get some sleep on this. I'm hopeful you'll come to your senses and that we'll be able to be successful together. But if you're telling me you're quitting, I can only say God bless you and all the best.' He handled it with extreme courtesy. But he wasn't going to let himself be held up."

ABC News' Lyneka Little contributed to this story.

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