Yep, and sorry we began with principles, blah, blah, blah, not really, the refresher was great, and I’m sure there were more than a few people in the room who loved everything and every model that was presented. The reinforcement of trust and accountability, the stories and humour, what organisation wouldn’t want to be this healthy?
After the ‘four disciplines’ our first awesome guest joined Pat on stage; Alan Mulally, CEO extraordinaire, a huge grin on his face. Pat, you got it wrong, leadership is a privilege, it’s not hard, it’s not a sacrifice, we are here to serve!
“What motivates you as a leader, Alan”?
“Profitable growth for all, our people our stakeholders and our customers (in no particular order). Have a plan and execute, lead with joyful accountability. Wow, but trust, love and serve”.
As I listened to Alan and Pat and their healthy conflicting argument about leadership, my own thoughts were racing. It’s you and only you; the leader needs to be at the crest of the wave, the entrusted, the moral compass, the champion of clarity. It is an honour to serve our people and to take responsibility for providing a stable enjoyable environment and profitable future that they can all enjoy!
Next up were Tim Tassopoulos and Andrew Cathy from Chick-fil-A, the chicken chain that employs over 120,000 people (and they all love their jobs). During the discussion, purpose and values were mentioned continuously and as it seemed, interviews as normal, the Sunday questions reared their head! “Family, faith and people; oh yeah – we don’t work on Sundays, on Monday our chicken tastes best”.
The Chick-Fil-A, Corporate Purpose: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Staying true to your values is not a compromise it’s “on Mondays it tastes best”! Too often we let our consumers and competitors dictate our better self, but; god bless, “on Mondays our chicken tastes best”! Thank goodness we left the Dallas airport on Saturday and we could cash in our free sandwich voucher… and yes, the Chick-fil-A experience was all that had been expressed. The staff were happy and polite, the service impeccable and the food something else (as the cows would say, “eat mor chikin”)!
I look through my scribbled notes from day 2, statements like “healthy = smarter over time”, “remind don’t instruct”, “over communicate” and “to serve” fill every page. The importance of leadership on all levels is essential for organisational health.