I’ve eaten at three different Chick-fil-A’s in the last month or so (someone on my tennis team loves it); nearly as much as I’ve had in my whole life. I have noticed that there is something different about the workers and the culture there. You can tell that there is a certain intentionality and training they have gone through. The training video below is a perfect example of how they want their employees to view their customers:
Though they do not open on Sundays – to honor the Lord’s Day and give rest to their employees – they have recently surpassed KFC as America’s largest grossing and most profitable chicken restaurant chain, despite having a little more than a third of the restaurants that KFC has.
As you may know, the founder of Chick-fil-A is a Christian who has sought to run his company while employing Christian values; not merely by refraining from certain practices, but by positively supporting and carrying out wholesome and generous values as well.
So, when I came across this article from “President and CEO Magazine,” I wasn’t too surprised. But … I was still reminded and inspired to make sure that I demonstrate my faith by my works (James 2) – Arthur
“Chick-fil-A Shows True Colors During Storm”
Sometimes leadership can be displayed in the most unusual circumstances.
For reasons that remain utterly baffling to me, Chick-fil-A is a controversial company in some quarters.
Oh, I know it’s because the company was founded on explicitly Christian values (shocking!), and because those values required the company’s owners to support traditional marriage, a position that “outraged” many on the Left. Never mind the enormous good the company does through charity. Never mind that the company’s policies are completely non-discriminatory in terms of hiring, services, etc. Never mind that its employees and customers are treated as family. Forget all that. They’re against same-sex marriage, so they’re evil.
The recent snow storm that hit the South (if we midwesterners have the stomach to call a couple of inches a “snowstorm”) gave the franchisee and employees of one Chick-fil-A location in Birmingham, Alabama the opportunity to dispel that notion in spades.
Some of the drivers had been stuck in their cars for nearly seven hours without any food or water. So the staff of the Chick-fil-A decided to lend a helping hand.
“We cooked several hundred sandwiches and stood out on both sides of 280 and handed out the sandwiches to anyone we could get to – as long as we had food to give out.”
The staffers braved the falling snow and ice, slipping and sliding, as they offered hot juicy chicken breasts tucked between two buttered buns. And Chick-fil-A refused to take a single penny for their sandwiches.
The meal was a gift – no strings attached.
Their kindness didn’t stop there, however.
“We opened up our dining room to anyone who wanted to sleep on a bench or a booth,” Audrey told me.
And this morning, the weary staff members fired up their ovens and began preparing chicken biscuits. The only thing that is closed – is Chick-fil-A’s cash register.
“We’re not open for business,” she said. ‘We’re just feeding people who are hungry.”
Call me crazy, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find another restaurant chain whose employees would so spontaneously give of themselves to their fellow citizens in a time of need.
“When leaders define a clear and compelling mission and develop a distinct culture of values within a company, employees know how to act on their own.What does this have to do with business?
I would argue that this act was a result of leadership and culture. These employees weren’t told what to do by the corporate leadership. They weren’t acting “on orders.” It seems fairly clear to me that they were simply fulfilling the company’s mission and ethos – a mission and ethos that has been promulgated and inculcated by the leaders of Chick-fil-A to a remarkable degree.
The point being that true leadership – even when controversial – makes giving orders and enforcing “rules” unnecessary. When leaders define a clear and compelling mission and develop a distinct culture of values within a company, employees know how to act on their own. The leaders of Chick-fil-A have done so, and they should be very proud.