David Novak is stepping down as Yum Brands executive chairman this month to pursue what he calls a new "vocation" — teaching business leaders and everyday people the power of recognizing the people in their lives.
"One of the things that I learned running Yum Brands is that there is a real, what I'm calling, a global recognition deficit. People are starved for recognition all around the world," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday.
More than 80 percent of people feel they are not recognized by their supervisor for what they do, according to research commissioned by Novak's new company OGO, which stands for O Great One. Sixty percent say they value recognition as much as money, and 40 percent say they would put in more energy at work if they got more recognition.
"Recognition is a secret weapon that every leader really needs to use," Novak said.