From the Stack

Leadership lessons from Chick-fil-A

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I didn’t fall in love with Chick-fil-A until about 18 months ago when I was spending the winter in Dallas.

For lunch one day, I decided to stop in at a restaurant to see what everyone was talking about. I was instantly hooked.

The hard-working, hustling crew members reminded me of the McDonald’s environment I worked in as a teenager in 1976 before the chain lost its focus by attempting to be all things to all people.

The Chick-fil-A crew members are pleasant and cap every interaction with the words, “My pleasure.”

The food is delicious. It is served fresh, hot and relatively quickly compared to other fast food restaurants which produce microwaved meals in minutes.

It’s Southwest Chicken Salad is one of my all-time favorite meals.

There is something about the Chick-fil-A that draws attention and creates fans. It’s working. The restaurant is the third biggest chain in America in terms of locations, and its franchisees generate more income per year, per location than any other franchise — all while closed on Sundays.

That’s how God honors businesses that honor him!

I stumbled upon this article by the Gospel Coalition the leadership lessons Chick-fil-A tries to instill in its management staff. It symbolizes a culture that is comfortable about capitalizing on its strengths.

Here are the major lessons:

  1. Surround yourself with people you trust. Then give them freedom.
  2. Write down your purpose. Then actually use it to make decisions.
  3. Don’t be afraid to choose biblical principles, even when they seem like they’ll never work.
  4. Recognize the importance of culture. Then stay where you are to build a better culture
  5. Take the long view by trading chasing numbers for building relationships.

Each one of those points could be blogs in themselves. Perhaps, someday, the other chains will catch on.

To read the full story at the Gospel Coalition, visit www.thegospelcoalition.org.

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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