Chik-Fil-A Leadercast Indy, Closing Session

So I charged up and hope i have enough juice to make it this last hour.

Right now Muhtar Kent (CEO of Coke) and Dan Cathy (CEO of Chik-Fil-A) are sitting down onstage together. Kent is outlining Coca Cola’s goals — the focus is sustainability in many different ways.

There’s kind of a lot of Coca Cola & Chik-Fil-A love going on here.

Dan’s givig Muhtar credit for being so versatile in business — he can run the grocery store part as well as the higher level management.

What keeps Muhtar up at night? His answer: arrogance.

Coca Cola is the fourth largest private employer in the world. When your out in the marketplace, meeting all types of people, you learn. He visits stores at least once a week, no matter where he is.

Dan Cathy is now talking about how he likes doing things no one has done or other fast food joints wouldn’t dare do. He’s proud of his kitchen staff, drive throughs, etc.

Muhtar is learning how important is for consumers wanting to vote not just for great products, but also the character of the company behind the products. Companies are being held to moral contracts with the consumer.

He’s also talking about how technology is impacting the world — everyone knows everything now. He’s learning about how this technology is changing consumer behavior and what that means for brands. We need to create a dialogue with consumers. No more monologues.

Oh my — now there’s a trumpet call and a Coca-Cola cake in honor of Coke’s 125th anniversary.

My seat mate just said, “Good information, boring delivery”. It was kind of a quiet talk, but yes, good information.

Dave Ramsey is up next!

Tripp Crosby is opening for Dave with a video¬† at Financial Peace University. He’s talking cheese and cracker envelope vs his khaki pants envelope. And buying his iPad on credit with skymiles, I think. Dave is DYING. Tripp is truly a trip. I hope this one’s on YouTube.

Dave is now getting the crowd excited.

“Seth Godin has so many brain cells he can’t hold hair on his head.” He’s complimenting the whole line up, noting how it goes downhill as the day goes on, and now we’re stuck with him.

He talks really, really fast. But if you’re a fan, you know this.

His business has grown from his living room to a company that employs 300 people.

He tells us his workforce is young, they don’t know how to dress but they are really smart, AND apparently, they’re very fertile. Lots of babies and whatnot. The company picnic ends up being 1000 people (wow!) and there are close to 100 kids under the age of nine.

He had his son look at the bounce house set up, and asked him what he saw. And he told his son that he saw a bunch of little kids, and that if your dad messes up, those kids may not have the good kind of life if I make bad decision. Leadership is a service. Son, I’m not the boss of those people, I’m the servant.¬† (he’s kind of giving me chills)

He then launched into a responsiblity speech to his teenage son.

That’s Leadership.

What are the key things that have built his business?

5 key things for winning:

He mentioned the I-Surrender-All moment. Everything was going to be God’s way.

1) We believe inthe DNA of our organization — People Matter. Your customers matter. They are not units of revenue.Your team matters. They are not units of production. Does your ream know you love them? The way you treat them? Your vendors matter. Your competitors matter. They’re people too.

2) An incredible team matters where excellence matters. We want a building full a smart people who are nice. Prayer starts the hiring process — kind of a comical prayer, to be hones. Zero tolerance policy for gossip. Shut up and get your work done. Hang your negatives up and your positives down. You get one warning, the second time you are set free.

3) Slow and steady matters. When you’re distracted by shiny things, you can’t run your business. The Tortiose always wins. This is a culture of Hares. Business is cooked in crock pot. I’ve worked my butt off for 15 years, now I’m an overnight success.

4) Financial Principles Matters. Run your company on less than it takes in. When everything screeched to a halt in the fall of 2008? I was not scared. It’s because he was financially secure. When everything’s going good, stupid looks Ok. Even a turkey can fly in a tornado. You can tell you was skinny dipping when the tide goes out. Be generous in your organization.

5) A Higher Calling Matters. When you play for something bigger than you, you try harder. When you play for your country, your Lord, you work harder. How has the Cathy family turned chicken into a higher calling? It’s not about the chicken, is it? Business is tough. If you’re not playing for a higher calling, you’ll quit. It’s not what you do that matters, it’s the WHY you do it. You better know what your “why” is , or you’ll quit.

He doesn’t do exit interviews — he doesn’t need to hear the criticism. He’s getting Americans straightened out with their money.

“Me and Jenny Craig, we got a big job.”

He’s been studying family businesses, and how they transition from generation to generation. Leaving a legacy that’s solid, that’s a higher calling.

What’s that thing that you’ve done?

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