I recently visited the Chick-fil-A corporate headquarters and had the opportunity to connect with Mark Miller. Mark is the Vice President of Training and Development for Chick-fil-A.
TONY: You have been around Chick-fil-A for quite some time. Share a little bit about your leadership journey.
MARK: I joined our corporate staff in 1978. I worked in the warehouse and mailroom and was the sixteenth corporate employee. Since then, I started our Corporate Communication department, the Quality and Customer Satisfaction department and most recently, our Organizational Effectiveness group. It’s been a great journey.
TONY: At Chick-fil-A, corporate values drive the organization’s culture. Can you give our leaders some practical advice on how to do this in their organizations?
MARK: Leaders must first decide if they are going to articulate current values or aspirational values. The real work begins once this decision is made. We encourage our leaders to take three action steps to bring their values to life:
- Know your values – Values must be known and understood before they can be communicated
- Share your values – Don’t make people guess at what’s important, tell them
- Live your values – Leaders are doomed if they say one thing and do another
TONY: How does Chick-fil-A approach leadership development?
MARK: Our leadership point-of-view can be summarized as: “Great Leaders Serve.” We are convinced that Jesus had it right in Matthew 20:26 when He said, “Those who want to become great (leaders) must be willing to become servants.” We built our leadership competency model around the word SERVE. We believe that great leaders…
- See the future
- Engage and develop others
- Reinvent continuously
- Value results and relationships
- Embody the values
TONY: Can you share a story of how Truett or Dan have modeled this?
MARK: Dan and Truett both model servant leadership. Truett taught 12-year old boys in Sunday School for over 50 years. Dan is the champion for second mile service in our organization. Both of them are very gifted at seeing the future and they continuously strive to reinvent the organization.
TONY: If you could only share one bit of advice with the next generation of leaders, what would it be?
MARK: Your capacity to grow determines your capacity to lead. Dan actually taught me this principle over 30 years ago. If young leaders commit to become life-long learners, they will never regret the decision. Ken Blanchard and I just released a new book about this topic called, “Great Leaders Grow.” The book is a helpful resource for anyone who wants to grow their leadership capacity. All of the proceeds from the book are donated to charity.
Mark asked me to serve our readers by giving away 50 free copies of “Great Leaders Grow” to the first 50 people who comment on this post. Make sure to include your mailing address in your comment.
UPDATE: Looks like we have 50 people, so thanks for participating. There aren’t any more books available.