Here is the first installment of my summary and highlight notes from today’s Chick-fil-A Leadercast that was broadcast globally to more than 125,000 people at more than 800 locations.
Choices & Leadership
- As a leader I may be in charge, but I have to realize I don’t have all the answers.
- As a leader I am not necessarily the smartest person in room.
- As a leader I may not even be the best leader in organization.
Leaders are important because of Uncertainty
- We know we never have all the info we need to make a decision
- As the leader at the end of the day your organization turns to you and you have to make a decision.
Uncertainty-we hate it, yet this is why in part you are where you are, it is the need for leadership
- Uncertainty makes leaders leaders
- Uncertainty drives us crazy, it makes us nervous
- Now you are the adult in the room, you have to make the decision, and that is difficult
- The goal of leadership is not to eradicate uncertainty,but rather navigate it
You will never have all the info you need to make a decision!
- You have to make a decision
- You have to make choices
3 Questions to ask yourself as you make decisions
1. What would my replacement do?
- This brings objectivity to the decision making process
- We fall in love and comfortable with the way we do things and the way we make decisions.
- Couch illustration, bought for one house and years later you moved and moved the old couch to a new house and it is ugly there, but by now you have fallen in love with that couch and you have lost objectivity and love the couch even though the couch is ugly and everyone except you realizes it.
When we get comfortable we lose our objectivity!
- “Only the Paranoid Survive”-book by Andy Grove
- Uses the Ferris Wheel story from book
- He asked what new CEO would do if we were kicked out?
This question provides clarity!
- The new CEO would get us out of memories
- Why shouldn’t we walk out the door and do this?
- We are so emotionally wrapped up in what we are doing that we will never be able to be successful at moving forward.
2. What would a great leader do?
- Got this question from Bill Hybels
- This question takes you out of your immediate situation, out of the smallness of your situation and elevates your perspective, expands your vision.
- He references Jack Welch, other great leaders
- Great leaders, selfless, not in it for me, and not concerned for my own reputation.
- CFA example: competition from Boston Chicken (Market) how do we outgrow BM?
- How do we get bigger and get bigger faster?
- “Wealth Isn’t Worth It”-Truett Cathy book details this story
Truett emphatically comments that; We must quit talking about getting bigger, start talking about getting better, If we get better customers will demand we get bigger!
- In the year 2000 BM was in bankruptcy while CFA hit a billion in sales as a company.
- This question will create margin in your thinking
- If you ask this question before you make commitment to follow thru with the answer, you will step into a new arena of thinking as a leader.
- Once it dawns on you that there is a different path, different possibilities it will expand your thinking and broaden your horizons.
Some of you will become great leaders because of asking this question!
- There will be tension in that question
- There will be extraordinary opportunity in that question
3. What story do I want to tell?
- Every decision you make is a part of the story you want to tell.
- When this is simply a story I tell, what story will you tell?
- This is the legacy you will leave.
Don’t ever make a decision that will make you a liar for life?
- Will there be dark periods in your life that you have to skip over?
- Will there be bad decisions, things you don’t want uncovered, stories you don’t want revealed, closets you don’t want open?
- Your story is with you forever!
- Make your story one you want to be able to tell.
- A story you will be proud to share with your children.
- Live life without regrets.
Charlie illustration about working for billboard company and demands for 6 days a week, he left company due to the fact he didn’t want to compromise his family, he started his own business in ATL and grew it large and sold it for a lot of money, but he had his family because he didn’t compromise his core values. The leaders at other company were also successful financially but most lost their families.
- I will never sacrifice my family for the sake of my career!
- Never write a story you will regret and don’t want to tell
Make it a story your are proud to tell at every single aspect of you life! You get to decide what the story is that you write and the story you will tell 5 years from now and beyond!
- Money comes, money goes…but your story is with you for life. Make sure it is something you are proud of.