Book Review: How Did You Do It, Truett?

In my effort to grow as a leader in the area of serving others, I have been looking for opportunities to study the Chick-fil-A way of doing things.  In my observations, it has become very obvious that Truett Cathy has set the pace as a servant leader for many years.  He expects this characteristic in those that are on his team and he intentionally cultivates this culture in his organization.  I ran across the book How Did You Do It, Truett? and decided that I should read it.  The book is only 95 pages long and it reads like you are having a conversation with Truett sitting at a table at Chick-fil-A.

I would encourage any leader that wants to cultivate an atmosphere of serving others to read this book and share it with their team.  Here are the things that I underlined while reading…

  • My most satisfying day is the day I work the hardest — the day I get the most accomplished.  I think most people are that way.  When they do something less than what they are capable of doing, it’s work.  When they do an outstanding job in their performance, it’s rewarding to them.
  • Everyday we remember that the Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich is really a simple concept.  We take advantage of our biggest opportunities when we keep it simple, focusing on serving great tasting food in a clean, wholesome environment with great customer service.
  • How do we balance the pursuit of profit and personal character?  For me, I find that balance by applying Biblical principles.  I see no conflict between Biblical principles and good business practices.
  • When we’re fully committed to something, we’re not likely to give up or be discouraged.  It works in our business life as well as in our personal relationships and our relationship to Jesus Christ.  When you’re fully committed, you see strange and unusual things happen that otherwise wouldn’t if you were not committed.  That’s been a key to my life, a key to success.  When you’re fully committed, you’re not likely to fail.
  • Truett has always been interested in innovation; he’s always looking for better ways to do things.
  • Be kind to your customers.  It’s the key to success.
  • The kinder you are to your people, the more productive they will be, and the more customers you’ll be able to attract.
  • We like to say we recruit smiles.  We can’t teach a sour person to be joyful.  Smiles are there because the heart is behind the smile.
  • If you’re particularly proud of what you serve, you ought to tell people about it.
  • You can be successful and honest at the same time.
  • Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.”
  • We have a loving atmosphere, where people serve each other because we truly love and care about each other.  We are a family, and we love our product, our people, and our purpose.
  • More than ever, we rely on our reputation and the previous positive experiences of our customers so that when they walk into the food court, they look for Chick-fil-A.

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