Mark Miller is Vice President of High Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A, and has spent the last two decades ensuring the growth of Chick-fil-A isn’t hindered by their supply of top talent.
Mark talks about how to create a leadership pipeline of internal and external talent, and why execution can be the difference between a stuck organization and a thriving organization.
Welcome to Episode 346 of the podcast. Listen 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.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about what Caucasian leaders can do to understand and make a difference for racial reconciliation.
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3 INSIGHTS FROM MARK
1. Chick-fil-A’s Secret Sauce
Besides the invention of the chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A is known for their hospitality. This is often what sets them apart from other fast food chains. To attain this, they employ high caliber leaders in every restaurant. So, what makes for a high caliber leader? They use the acronym SERVE:
They See the future.
They Engage and develop others.
They Reinvent continuously.
They Value results in relationships.
They Embody the values.
Mark says, “Great leaders are always serving leaders as opposed to self-serving. They are compelled by the unshakable desire to serve others.” And this is what they consider their “secret sauce.”
2. How to Create a Leadership Culture
Not only do they employ high caliber leaders, Chick-fil-A also accelerates leadership development. Before they learned to do this, they realized they needed to define the term leadership. Was it about skills or about character? Mark says they learned that it’s about both.
Peter F. Drucker said, “The quality of character won’t make a leader, but the absence flaws the entire process.” Mark says they made a strategic decision that they would select for leadership character, and train, educate, and develop on skills. He said, “Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t want candidates with skills, but if you’ve got to teach someone, it’s preferable to teach them skills as opposed to transform and reclaim character.”
Once they defined leadership, Mark said they had to teach leadership, and then allow their teams to practice it. He said, “The research on this has been clear for decades that most leaders know most of what they know about leading through the experience of leading.”
3. 4 Ways to Attract Top Talent
When Chick-fil-A looks for talent, they search for character, competence and chemistry “with a healthy dose of entrepreneurial spirit in the mix.” And that’s been their formula for 40+ years.
Mark says they also conducted research on what attracts top talent, and they discovered three things that talent want:
- They want a better boss.
- They want a brighter future.
- They want to be part of a bigger vision.
Now notice that this point is titled FOUR ways to attract top talent. Mark says that finally, in order to be a part of the bigger vision, they learned that you actually have to tell that story. This can be done through having your employees serve as ambassadors, or by sharing your story on social media and your website. But when you tell your story, make sure talent can figure out that you’re going to provide a better boss, a brighter future and a bigger vision.
Quotes from Episode 346
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
MOTIVATE YOUR TEAM. DEEPEN ENGAGEMENT. ATTRACT AND KEEP THE BEST LEADERS.
Wish your team was more engaged at work?
Most leaders do.
According to Gallup, 70% of employees are disengaged at work, and the most talented employees are heading off to do their own thing.
How do you attract, motivate and keep high capacity team members in a changing world?
My new online, on-demand course, The High Impact Workplace: How to Attract and Keep High Capacity Leaders In A Changing World will give you the edge you need to win the talent war for the best leaders.
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In the course, I give you the exact strategies you need to:
- Attract and keep high capacity leaders who would otherwise start their own businesses.
- Identify and leverage the currency that motivates young leaders.
- Navigate flexible work arrangements that result in deeper productivity.
- Master the 5 questions every great manager asks their team for deeper engagement.
- Create workplace environments that multiple generations can thrive in.
- Learn how to keep your company or organization relevant to the most talented leaders.
Here’s what employers are saying about The High Impact Workplace:
“Each time a unit ends, I look over my notes and think “that was exactly what I needed, the rest of the class is just a bonus.” BUT I repeat that EACH UNIT!”
“The course got me to talk with my team about things I wouldn’t have considered talking about.”
“This is exactly what I needed.”
Learn why the future workplace is the flexible workplace, and how to keep your company relevant to the next generation of leaders.
To enroll now or learn more about The High Impact Workplace, click here.
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Next Episode: Nir Eyal
When bestselling author, Nir Eyal, wrote Hooked a few years ago, it took Silicon Valley by storm. In it, Nir explains the principles that companies and leaders can use to ‘hook’ people on forming (good) habits. His most recent book, Indistractable, looks at how to get away from the things that distract us (like our phones, people and things that we don’t want to focus on) so we can focus on what matters most. In the future, becoming indistractable will become a super power.
Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 347.