I recently read an article about Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick fil-A. He is 91 years old now but still demonstrating the ability to be in touch with what really matters. When asked what he learned as he was growing up, Truett shared he learned the importance of pleasing his customers from his early years as a paperboy, being tuned it to whether customers wanted to receive their papers behind the screen door or some other place where animals couldn’t get to it.
A man, constantly motivated by incentive rewards, he recognized the Golden Rule in business was to treat your customers as you would want to be treated. He treats his employees that way now as Chick-fil-A has never opened on Sunday so that employees have a day to spend with their loved ones. He even noted this was perhaps the best decision he ever made helping him attract people who value the same things he does as well as honoring the Lord, which Cathy truly aspires to do.
He also makes commitments to help finance many of the individuals who want to own stores as they often rise up through the ranks of Chick-fil-A employees to become franchisee owners keeping the costs down so that actual down payment is only $5,000. Cathy seems to represent a type of business hardly recognized in the world today as he notes his worst decisions was to open his second store, saying initially it felt like he had one too many of them(stores).
Chick-fil-A gradually grew but unlike many business owners today, Cathy is not interested in global expansion, high power marketing or even making more dramatic profits. He recognizes wealth does not necessarily bring happiness and often it causes more problems because it causes you to navigate among different people and Cathy seems to be the kind of man who likes to be with ordinary humble individuals enjoying his blessings.
Yes, I can always find some controversial topic, notorious person or anti-christian slant to write about, but sometimes it is good to learn from the best and Truett Cathy seems to be an excellent teacher. He does not need to have a 24/7 business running, does not need ad campaigns on every car, billboard, tv or radio and doesn’t need to look far for employees who respect him and enjoy working with him so much they consider becoming part of the Chick-fil-A family of owners.
I can’t help but wonder how different the world might be, how much more family life every successful entrepreneur might know, how many more hours away from loved ones in the name of business expansion might be salvaged and how many Sundays might be better remembered for everyone sitting down together to enjoy a great meal around the table if more business owners thought like Cathy and less like the status quo of bigger means better and success is directly related to expansion
God bless men like Truett Cathy who practice what they preach and live by the Golden Rule.
What’s your take on how a sincere Christian should go about developing a great business?
- “Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you”(Ex 31:14) (wdednh.wordpress.com)
- A Few Leadership Lessons From Dan Cathy (managebetternow.com)
- Closed on Sunday..As it Should be!! (maddmedic.wordpress.com)