Learning To Lead At Chikfila



Now, the one I am talking about is not down the street at your local Chikfila establishment, but at the WORLD HEADQUARTERS in Atlanta, Georgia. It was, in short, an AMAZING EXPERIENCE! I do not use those words lightly. It was not just good, super, or informative information. It was about culture- striving for perfection and expecting excellence and serving with a “my pleasure” attitude.

Everything at Chikfila is done with excellence!

• The security guards at the gate who checked our credentials with a smile on their faces and appropriate guardedness to perform their essential role.
• The landscape of the expansive world headquarters that made us feel like we were driving up the pathway to the exclusive Biltmore House in Asheville, N.C.
• The ease of parking and close accessibility from the parking lot to the front door with a beautiful walk along the way.
• The way we were welcomed with smiling faces from numerous corporate staff from a variety of age groups and ethnicities was engaging but not over the top.
• The cleanliness of the floors, restrooms, and the meeting rooms.
• The dress code that was professional, but not oppressively strict.
• The food that we savored in their dining area which did include lots of Chikfila (especially for me) for me was also expanded to include numerous non-Chikfila store items. I am told that Mr. Truett Cathy, the company’s founder pays for these extraordinary dining expenses himself out of his own pocket.
• The concert provided at lunch by a full orchestra.
• The fitness center staffed with personal trainers to accommodate the specific needs of those that patronize it as a corporate benefit.
• The cool “conference extras” like a personal fit on your pillow sized Chikfila cow that I could bring home to Abigail (yes she was pleased even at 18) and the book authored by their leader of corporate training who trained us as well.

But most of all I was impressed by one word- SERVE:

See The Future
Engage And Develop Others
Reinvent Continuously
Value Results And Relationships
Embody The Values

As I watched the values embodied by all who serve there, I got the impression that it was exactly that- “service” rather than “work”. And something happened to me as I saw all this unfold around me.

First, it was intentional.
Second, it was excellent.
Third, it involved love for God and people.
Fourth, they loved it and rewarded by it (not just for it).

A light bulb lit and a pleasant alarm like a chosen ringtone went on in my head- “THAT’s what the CHURCH is supposed to be! That is what we CAN be.

Let’s BE that church where SERVE happens to desired perfection!

Jesus, our Leader, Founder, and Savior said, “And whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:44-45 (NIV)

I want to be like my Savior SERVING His church with a “my pleasure” attitude.

Will you join me?

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