In a meeting yesterday I was reminded yesterday that Chick-fil-A’s Operator/Franchisee model is such a good opportunity, that it attracts a very strong, deep bench of talent applying to join the ranks. The competition just to have your name in the hat is very, very, very competitive to own a Chick-fil-A franchise.
Chick-fil-A is benefiting greatly from this. They now have the option of choosing from a pool of talent that greatly out-preforms the past applicants as a whole.
In all this competition it is easy to change or lower you personal goals by asking:
- What is the Average?
- What can I do to keep up?
- How can I change to be more like them (the competitors)?
When the competition is fierce, that is the best time to find your identity. Your purpose… your purpose above the “average.” After all, Chick-fil-A or some other very competitive program wants more than management robots. They want leaders that will lead to a higher calling. They want an identity. So as you grow, try to “own” your leadership style instead of copying the status quo.
With that said, never forget the purpose of an operation you are working in. Chick-fil-A at it’s core is a profit driven machine. The expectations of leaders are greater because of the greater reward. You should never lose focus to continually reinvent and not get behind. As soon as you get behind, the competition will pass you and not look back.
“…Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”
-Luke 12:48 (ESV)
In our Chick-fil-A FSU office, there are often many “Leadership Lessons” typed out hanging around the office. Many are from my Operator and some from other leaders at my store. There was recently a handout that had 6 steps to develop other leaders within your restaurant.
The first step is that you have to be a Student of Leadership. This is embracing and teaching what you believe. Leadership is a continual lesson in learning.
Here are the questions asked of Operators and potential leaders at Chick-fil-A:
- How actively are you developing your own leadership skills?
- What are you reading?
- In today’s world it’s not simply books – read blogs like Mark Miller’s Great Leaders Serve, listen to Podcasts like Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast. I have also posted a list of good blogs to follow on ChickenLeader.
- I have posted a list of books I have read and recommend on my suggested book page.
- Have you visited other Operators to determine their best practices in leadership development?
I think you can apply this to any vocational field… simply replace “Operators” with “managers” , “executives” , “sales representatives”, etc.The main question is What are you doing to be a student of Leadership so that you one day have the honor of teaching others how to be leaders (and the first lesson to being a student )
In the next few weeks, I’ll type out descriptors for the remaining steps:
- Be a Student of Leadership
- Select High-Potential Apprentices
- Teach Skills of Leadership
- Share Real Leadership Responsibility
- Coach, Coach, Coach
- Identify New Leadership Opportunities
Until next time, Happy Serving Others!
Lou Holtz is a phenomenal person. Outside of having a great career, he is someone who has written bestselling books and devoted his life to impacting others. Check out his speech at University of Oregon graduation.
Here was my favorite quote from the video:
“Do what is right. Do your very best. Treat others like you’d like to be treated.” Holtz put this into a 3 part question:
- Can I trust you?
- Are you committed to excellence?
- Do you care about me?
What’s your favorite lesson from the video?