Convictions of the Leader

2016 RightNow Conference


What does it take to turn a worn-out brand into a thriving business? Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, shares her “Roadmap to Results.” In this 30-minute video from the 2016 RightNow Conference, she challenges pastors to lead well, create a safe culture, and equip their people to see the marketplace as a mission field.


Cheryl Bachelder is the CEO of AFC Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, and the author of Dare to Serve. Cheryl has more than 35 years of experience in brand building, operations and management at companies including Yum Brands, Domino's Pizza, RJR Nabisco, The Gillette Company and The Procter & Gamble Company. Cheryl creates work environments where people can do their best work. Cheryl believes in a passionate, purposeful approach to work where the focus is on coaching and developing people to be leaders with competence and character. Guided by servant leadership thinking, she builds highly collaborative teams. These teams work in close partnership and alignment with franchisees to deliver exceptional marketplace results. Cheryl holds a B.S. in Business Administration and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University. Cheryl and her husband, Chris, have three daughters.


As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your ministry. 



Cheryl shared three aspects of good leadership: vision, talent, and culture. A good leader has the responsibility to call out a vision; this vision should be beyond the imagination of the people. 

Reflect on your own leadership. Is calling out a vision something you are actively doing? What vision has God given you for your church? Your family? Your team? How could you begin to more clearly communicate this vision to your people?
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The second component of good leadership is talent. Cheryl spoke about how crucial it is to assemble the right team of people who have skills and character, then spend time investing in their development.  

Reflect on your team. Have you assembled the right group of people? Which skills informed your decisions in putting together this team? What character traits does each team member possess? How does the collaboration of all these strengths create a dynamic team?
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Cheryl referenced the one-on-one time she spends with each leader every week. Are you currently taking time to invest in your team’s personal development? In what ways could you invest more? How might you restructure time in order to incorporate this essential time of growth?
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Cheryl also challenged leaders to put freedom and ownership into the hands of their team. She recommended using the phrase, “You decide.” How are you currently affording decision-making opportunities to your team members? How might you help them grow in their capacity to make wise, effective decisions?
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The final (and most important) aspect of leadership Cheryl shared was the creation of culture. Culture is the “secret recipe” which causes people to thrive in the workplace.  

People look for safety. Nobody takes a risk when they don’t feel safe. How are you creating an environment where people feel safe enough to risk?
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What is the difference between governing by safety or governing by fear? Which currently characterizes your own authoritative style? How might you shift from creating a culture of fear to a culture of safety?
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“You can’t grow people you don’t know.” People want to be known and cared about. What are a few practical ways you can begin to demonstrate a genuine, personal interest in the lives of your team members? How might this shift the culture of your team?
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You are the governor of culture. Everything you do must reinforce the culture you want to create. In what ways could you be unintentionally undermining the type of culture you desire to create? How could you realign your own emotions or behavior to better serve the creation of a different team culture?
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Cheryl encouraged listeners to invite their team members to reflect on their experiences and skills, and come up with the ways they personally want to contribute to the success of the team. How could you encourage your own team members toward this? How might this grow the vision and approach of your team?
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Cheryl spoke specifically to pastors, encouraging them to envision and equip their people to relate to the workplace as a mission field.  

In what ways could you shift your own viewpoint about business as mission? How could you communicate that to your people? Who could you begin to visit at work?
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Cheryl noted the importance of rest and self-care. Rest is where God speaks to us and replenishes us. 

How have you created space for God to speak to and replenish you in the past week? How could you incorporate this time into the rhythm of your life? How might you guard against missing that time?
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Leaders have a unique opportunity to shape culture, invest in their team members, and view the workplace as a mission field for the glory of God. 


For more information about the RightNow Conference or to find out how to attend next year’s event, visit rightnowconference.org


For more from Cheryl Bachelder, see the RightNow Media @ Work Documentary, Popeyes Serves Up a Turnaround, or visit her website, cherylbachelder.com.