We Are Called to a Mission

2015 Work as Worship Conference

Culture is the soul of an organization. For better or worse, it defines both the behaviors and the acceptable practices of everyone involved. Cultivating a culture of excellence requires intentionality on the part of the leadership. In this 26-minute session from the 2015 Work as Worship Conference, Dee Ann Turner reflects on her lengthy experience with Chick-fil-A to share some of the lessons she has learned about leading a principled business, especially from her company's founder, Truett Cathy. 

Dee Ann Turner has worked for Chick-fil-A for over 30 years and currently serves as Vice President of Corporate Talent. She has played an integral role in growing the unique and highly regarded culture of Chick-fil-A and shares what she has learned in her book, It's My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and A Compelling Culture.

Visionary leadership profoundly impacts those who follow its example. Dee Ann described how the vision of Chick-fil-A centers on relationships with people and the culture created as a result of the stories those relationships tell.

Does your organization have a clear vision for its work? In what ways does it contribute to the culture within your business?
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How does the culture of your business affect the people involved (employees, customers, etc.)? Does it model servant leadership? Why or why not?
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If culture is the soul of an organization, how well does your business care for its culture? In what ways do you think you could improve?
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 Dee Ann said that any successful business requires a compelling culture. To this end, she shared three important principles:
1. Create a clear purpose.
2. Decide on a meaningful mission.
3. Develop core values that can be lived out in practice.
Each of these serves as a significant component in telling the story of your business.

Does your organization have a clear purpose? Do you have a meaningful mission? If not, what are your purpose and mission by implication?
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According to Dee Ann, "If culture is the soul of the organization, then purpose is the heart of it." Often times, the purpose of a business will fuel its mission. How well do your purpose and mission impact the culture of your organization? In what ways would you like to improve?
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Core values should be measurable standards that are lived out in practice. Dee Ann specifically noted those of Chick-fil-A: excellence, integrity, generosity, loyalty, honor, dignity, and respect. These form the center of their business. What are the core values of your organization? What are some of the ways they are practiced in your workplace?
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As Dee Ann shared, Chick-fil-A has built itself on service based on biblical principles. This resulted in their S.E.R.V.E. model:
See and shape the future
Engage and develop others
Reinvent continuously 
Value results and relationships
Embody the values
Faithful Christian leadership should embody the example of Jesus who came "not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).

What stands out to you about this model? How could you begin implementing some of these principles to encourage more robust service in your organization?
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What are the foundation principles of your business? How do they influence the work of your organization? Are there any ways you would like to see them change? If so, explain.
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Dee Ann shared how at Chick-fil-A, serving chicken is a means to a much greater impact, namely, that of influencing people. What impact do you believe God is calling you towards with your business? What are some ways you can strengthen your pursuit of it this week? How can you encourage your people towards this goal?
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A thriving business culture does not happen by accident. It takes leadership committed to intentionality and vision. Your work is the means God has given you to influencing the people you serve. May your legacy be marked by a commitment to Him and a gracious boldness for His Word.

For more information on the Work as Worship Conference or how to attend next year's event, visit www.workasworshipconference.org.