4 Takeaways from the Chick-fil-A Leadercast

May 7, 2012

This last Friday was the annual Chick-fil-A Leadecast produced by Giant Impact. The theme this year was “choices.” As leaders, we make hundreds of choices a day. Choices that not only affect us personally but our families and those we lead.

We heard from a number of excellent speakers on Friday including Andy Stanley, Pat Lencioni, John Maxwell, Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow, Soledad O’Brien and more. While I could write a separate post about each of these talks, I’d like to hit some of the highlights from a variety of speakers and give you a handful of key takeaways for my leadership at CARE for AIDS.

“What would my replacement do?” Andy Stanley kicked off the day by giving us three questions to add to our decision-making arsenal. His first one was, “What would my replacement do?” I don’t think my job is in danger, but there are more experienced people that could be brought in to do what I do. If that did happen, what is the first thing they would do? When I hit a dead end or my strategies and tactics seem tired, this is a great question that brings objectivity and focus to a matter.

The Law of Awareness John Maxwell shared a few laws with us from his new book The 15 Laws of Personal Growth. He says that to grow ourselves, we need to know ourselves. We need to know ourselves in three areas.

Requirement – What is required of me?

Return – What gives me the greatest return? (staying within your strengths)

Reward – What is rewarding to me?

Aligning those three answers creates passion. As we begin to coach our staff on their personal development, I will be thinking about how to help our team create alignment in these areas.

“Flip the Hierarchy.” I could write a whole post on Angela’s talk. She is the CEO of Burberry and assumed that role shortly after the organization’s 150th anniversary. She had to make some radical changes to bring Burberry into the modern and social era, but one of her strategies was really mind-blowing. She created a committee of the youngest most innovative minds in the company and gave them the liberty to create the vision and strategies that would help Burberry succeed in this social age, then the executive team was responsible for executing the strategies. What a radical idea! It has worked in a big way. To read more, visit greatleadersserve.org for a complete post on her talk.

The real competitive advantage is a healthy organization. The final speaker of the day was Patrick Lencioni. He said that there are two sides to any business: being smart (marketing, strategy, etc.) and being healthy (culture). In this day and age, being is healthy is the real competitive advantage because any organization can be smart. We as leaders have to create cohesive leadership teams through vulnerability and be very clear about the values and beliefs that drive the organization. We must over communicate those values and reinforce them whenever possible. This was a good reminder that, in this case, redundancy is not a bad idea.

I hope to see some of you at the Leadercast next year. It is well worth a day of your time and the cost of a ticket.

Do any of these principles resonate with you? How can you apply these lessons in your organization or family? If you went to the Leadercast, what were some of your takeaways?