1 - Actions

Accept Responsibility

Truett Cathy founded Chick-fil-A in the early 1960s. Known for its original chicken sandwich and unique franchise model, Chick-fil-A has steadily grown to become the largest quick-serve chicken restaurant chain in the United States. 

Rather than leading from his corporate office in Atlanta, CEO Dan Cathy spends most of his time traveling to the growing family of Chick-fil-A restaurants to interact with operators and team members. In this 2-part course, Dan shares what he has learned about effective leadership and clarity of purpose. In this first session, he gives four ways to be a successful leader starting with the important action of accepting responsibility.

Describe a time when you blamed others for the complaint of a customer or client when it may have been your oversight as a leader. What did you learn in that situation? How did you grow as a leader? What changes have you implemented from that experience?
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What areas of your business could you commit to learning more about? How might that impact your products or services?
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Pursue Accountability

In a world of insincere flattery, effective leaders need people who will speak truth into their lives. In this next video, Dan talks about seeking authentic feedback and accountability for the success of your business.

Who in your company do you trust to tell you the truth about your business and hold you accountable to your actions? Who else could you include in your circle of truth tellers?
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Dan shared the example of Undercover Boss to describe how disengaged many leaders are with their employees. What do you know about the daily struggles of your team members, even those at the "lowest" level? How could you foster a more engaging and authentic environment in your organization?
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Lead from the Front Lines

Effective leaders are life-long learners. In the next video, Dan describes why engaging with employees at the every level can improve the quality of the products, services, experiences you provide your customers.  

What do you admire most in a leader? Why? What aspects of their leadership are you modeling?
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Dan said, “It's the way we think about the marketplace, the way we think about customers and their needs that really drives value for the business. But we also know that it is not just the way they think in the boardroom about the business, but how they act on the shop floor. The retailers that I admire the most are the ones that are just as effective and knowledgeable and insightful at the shop floor, walking around.” 

Who are your customers and what are their needs? How are they emotionally interfacing with your brand? How has time on the “shop floor” influenced how you and other leaders think of them in the boardroom?
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Dan described successful business leaders as 

  • Intuitive
  • Genuine
  • Engaged
  • Involved
  • Sensitive
  • Real
  • Authentic
  • Approachable

Which of these attributes do you think describe you and why? Which could you grow in and how could you do that?
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Embrace Change

Things never stay the same…change is present in every aspect of our lives. In this next video, Dan explains how handling inevitable changes can grow you as a leader and benefit your company.

Dan said he thinks about this quote often, “When the rate of external change exceeds the rate of internal change, disaster is imminent.” How have external changes like the economy, technology, or policy affected your business? Have you ever faced imminent disaster, or have you always been prepared to handle change? How so?
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Do you embrace change, or are you more resistant to change? Why? How has change challenged you to be or create your very best?
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Effective leaders accept responsibility, pursue accountability, lead from the front lines, and embrace change. Head to the next session to consider how clarity of purpose and a posture of humility can help you stay the course as an effective leader.