Skip to content

CNLP 302: Steve Green on the Rise of Hobby Lobby Empire, Why Their Retail is Still Growing When Everyone Else’s is Shrinking, and How Paying Entry Level Workers Double the Minimum Wage Pays Back

What started in a garage almost 50 years ago has risen into a multi-billion dollar empire. Steve Green is the President of Hobby Lobby, and works along side his father, who founded the company.

Steve discusses the reasons behind the remarkable rise of Hobby Lobby, how it almost all fell apart, their biggest challenges, bucking the trend, why his company pays entry level works double the minimum wage, and why his family agreed to sign Warren Buffet and Bill Gate’s pledge to give at least half of their wealth away. Steve also talks about why he’s so passionate about funding what they’re funding.

Welcome to Episode 302 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website | Hobby Lobby

Episode Links

Are you interested in growing your church in 2020? Our partners, Pro Media Fire, have a special offer for listeners of The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast. They’re looking for 20 churches that are interested, in receiving a custom plan to help ignite growth with strategies that include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, new church website, custom graphics, and videos. They’re accepting applications through December 1st at ProMediaFire.com/2020. Check it out.

What if, in 40 days, you could grow your small groups in your church by 40%? Based on Pastor Zach Zehnder’s book, The Red Letter Challenge is a 40-day turnkey church campaign that centers around making more effective disciples of Jesus. Go to RedLetterChallenge.com/Carey to find church packages ready to go for you.

CNLP 207: Bobby Gruenewald on Leveraging First Mover Advantage, Innovation, AI, Technology and the Future Church

Museum of the Bible

The Giving Pledge

The Bible in America by Steve Green

This Dangerous Book by Steve Green

This Beautiful Book by Steve Green

3 Insights from Steve

1. Treat employees as you would want to be treated

Steve knows the value of treating employees well. Hobby Lobby pays their employees double the minimum wage. Steve remembers a time in the company’s history when they couldn’t do that. But, he says, because they can now, they do.

He also notes that when you are generous with your employees, it’s a win-win situation for both the employee and the business. In addition to a higher wage, Hobby Lobby provides chaplains for their employees. Steve says, “Many times people have challenges that they’re dealing with in life, because life creates challenges; kids or marriage or finances, and it’s easy to say, ‘Leave your troubles at home when you come to work.’ But that just isn’t realistic. If we can help an employee through our chaplains to help their life be in better order, then they become a better employee.”

2. God owns it all

The Green family firmly believes that the Hobby Lobby business is God’s business. This mindset is the driving force for their family, through the easy and the rough times. They believe that there’s only two things in life that are going to be eternal: 1. Man’s soul and 2. God’s word. Steve says, “That is what brings purpose to us going to work. It makes it exciting to be the best that we can be.”

Steve also desires for Hobby Lobby to be an example in the business community of what a Christian business should be like, even if they’re imperfect. He shares that their philanthropy and ministry support helps point people to the gospel.

3. Make more money so you can give more away

In the 1990’s, the Green family began increasing Hobby Lobby’s giving to the point where they were giving away half of their profits. They’ve even joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s Giving Pledge—an effort to help address society’s most pressing problems by inviting the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes either during their lifetime or in their will.

Steve believes the more money they make, the more they can give away. He says, “Our real drive is to say, ‘How can we do more for God and His kingdom?’ We’re giving away half of our profits, and if I can make more profits, that’s more that we can give away.”

Quotes from Episode 302

There's really two events over the last 20 years or so that has changed retail, digital and delivery. @stevegreenhl Click To Tweet

We win by having committed employees, and obviously it's a win for them because they're starting at it at a much higher rate than they could in many places. @stevegreenhl Click To Tweet

As we build a good organization, you obviously have to treat employees as you would want to be treated. @stevegreenhl Click To Tweet

It's easy to say leave your troubles at home when you come to work, but that just isn't realistic. If we can help an employee through our chaplains to help their life be in better order, then they become a better employee. @stevegreenhl Click To Tweet

The more money we make, the more we can give away. @stevegreenhl Click To Tweet

We're not here to make more money. We're here to do more so that we can be a greater impact for good in our world. @stevegreenhl Click To Tweet

Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 302

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Watch Back Episodes of The Podcast on YouTube

Select episodes of this podcast are now on YouTube. Our new YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen. We’ll add select episodes to YouTube as time goes on.

GET MY NEW FREE COACHING GUIDE: 5 QUESTIONS EVERY GREAT MANAGER ASKS

The High Impact Workplace

How should you coach your team?

An even better question…how should you coach your top leaders so that they throw their heart behind the mission and they end up staying for years?

I’ve discovered 5 questions that really help you develop, care for and retain top leaders. I’ve put the 5 questions and some coaching into my new coaching guide, called The 5 Questions Every Great Manager Asks.

You can download it for free here.

I’m giving the coaching guide away for free to everyone who joins the waitlist for my brand new course, The High Impact Workplace: How To Attract and Keep High Capacity Leaders in a Changing World. (It launches this December.)

Sign up for the waitlist, get the free coaching guide, and you won’t miss a thing.

Subscribed Yet? 

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.

Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via

Apple Podcasts

Spotify

Google Play

Stitcher

TuneIn

Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Rebekah Lyons

Rebekah Lyons, a driven, young leader who was accomplishing an extraordinary amount at home and at work, had her first panic attack out of the blue in 2011. The last eight years have taught her so much about how to handle the stress, anxiety and frantic pace of life today. In this episode, she shares the rhythms that have helped her—and other driven creatives—find rest, meaning and purpose in the midst of a frantic world, and what to do when you relapse and the anxiety and panic return.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 303.

3 Comments

  1. Cyndy Warnier on November 14, 2019 at 9:33 am

    I decided again my better judgment to listen to this but I do agree that there were many good points here. However, I have a problem with a CEO who also claims his faith, and yet has no problem with buying illegal antiquities from other countries. His denial that he didn’t know what he was doing, and yes paid a huge fine, sadly doesn’t cover the fact that it seemed to be OK to remove cultural things from another country for his own use and profit until he got caught! I just have trouble with that connection and reconciling his faith to his actions, sorry.

  2. Rebecca Wilson on November 13, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Wow! One of the best podcasts I’ve ever listened to. Such an inspiration and role model for everyday life as well as business life.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on November 13, 2019 at 5:12 pm

      Thanks Rebecca!

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.