"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Proverbs 22:1
Those words were the North Star for the founder of Chick-fil-A, Truett Cathy, who died yesterday at the age of 93.
It goes without saying, the inventor of the chicken sandwich was an impressive leader. He grew Chick-fil-A from a single small diner in Hapeville, Georgia to one of the greatest organizations in the world. Currently, there are over 1800 Chick-fil-A's with an annual combined sales totaling more than 5 billion dollars. Talk about results.
But for those who knew Truett, he was not driven by the results alone. Truthfully, he focused more on relationships, and he created an unrivaled organizational culture. The results were simply the byproduct.
I had the opportunity to meet Truett once, and I was captivated by his focus on my visit to his office. I walked away feeling like he was my grandfather, rather than a billionaire.
Truett gave me a copy of a book he had written. The title, It's Easier to Succeed Than to Fail, was a reminder that doing things the right way, coupled with a strong work ethic, always leads to success.
When he handed me the book, he told me if I ever had trouble sleeping to be sure and read the first few pages. “It’ll help send you to dreamland,” he quipped with a warm smile. His humility was enviable.
Inside the front cover of the book, right below Truett’s autograph, was the inscription, Proverbs 22:1. It seems the thing he desired most was to bring honor to God by living a life of integrity.
I’d say you hit the target, Mr. Cathy. Thank you for your amazing example of what a leader is supposed to look like.
Well done good and faithful servant ... You will be missed, but not forgotten.
Leadership Begins at Home,
What is the legacy you desire to leave behind with your life and leadership?
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