Simply Lead – Takeaways from Chick-fil-a Leadercast Part 1


It’s a daunting task to attempt to share the highlights from a seminar so packed with wisdom and actionable content but there is gold in those hills and I must try to pass it along.

Today I had the great pleasure to attend the Chick-fil-A Leadercast (CFAleadercast) conference because the wonderful people at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention hosted the seminar as a simulcast site. It’s my 2nd year to attend the CFAleadercast and I cannot recommend it highly enough. The next CFAleadercast is May 9, 2014, put it on your calendar and find a host site near you. You will be so glad you did.

(This will be part 1. Breaking it up into sections will help me actually publish without being overwhelmed. I hope you’ll find the info useful.)

Simply Lead

This year’s conference focused on the Simplicity of leadership, from vision to behaviors. It’s a topic that really resonates with me as I easily drown in a world of clutter and unfocused thrashing. As one speaker noted

Every leader needs an escape hatch. A retreat to the core values that helps you center yourself and in turn your organization around what matters.

Center then forward. Exactly! So where is that escape hatch?

You have know the simple answers to the following questions

Know Simply

  1. What are we doing? (Vision)
    1. What is your mission? What is the life-blood of your organization? What does your business do?
    2. If you don’t have a simple answer you haven’t worked on it long enough.
  2. Why are we doing it? (Vision)
    1. What is your motivation? Ask “If we disappeared tomorrow” what would be different or lost? Revisit why you were founded, someone had an impetus to drive them to build the company you work for. Find that impetus, center there.
  3. How do we get there? (Execution)
    1. What are the standards that define our actions? Do we own them? (Rules are external and top down, Standards are internal and owned from bottom up).
  4. Where do I fit in? (what is your crucial contribution or core responsibility)
    1. Write a 1 sentence job description.
    2. Andy phrased it as, When you are in an emergency, crisis, overwhelmed, confused, break glass and read it. (I’m paraphrasing)

Andy Stanley brought out questions 1,2, & 4. I added 3 to incorporate Coach K’s standards and behaviors talk and Welch’s talk.

I’ll share more about creating space and the great lessons from Maxwell and Condoleeza Rice in days to come Below you’ll find my full set of notes and great nuggets shared via the #CFAleadercast twitter stream.

Notes from Chick-fil-a Leadercast 2013