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Chick-Fil-a Leadership Culture

In: Business and Management

Submitted By solar222
Words 602
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Originally named the Dwarf Grill, Chick-fil-A was founded in 1946 by Samuel Truett Cathy in Hapeville, Georgia. The Dwarf Grill restaurant later became the Dwarf House and to this day remains in business located near a former Ford plant in Hapeville Georgia. The first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in 1967 located in an Atlanta Georgia shopping mall. Samuel Truett Cathy pioneered the establishment of restaurants inside of shopping malls and subsequently all Chick-fil-A restaurants were located inside shopping malls until 1986. Their first freestanding restaurant opened in 1986 and today most of their new restaurants are freestanding. Today there are over 1,614 restaurant locations with sales topping $4 billion dollars in 2011. Chick-fil-A’s mission statement is simple; to "Be America's Best Quick-Service Restaurant". Along with Samuel Truett Cathy, today there are several key corporate leaders involved in the operation of Chick-fil-A. Dan T. Cathy, Samuel Cathy’s first son, is the President and Chief Operating Officer, Donald M. Cathy, Samuel Cathy’s middle son, is the Senior Vice President and Dwarf House President, James McCabe is the Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Steve Robinson is the Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Perry Ragsdale is the Senior Vice President, Design, and Construction, and Timothy Tassopoulos is the Senior Vice President of Operations. Chick-fil-A’s procedure for selecting potential leaders is known to be very extensive. Their selection is based on what they call the “three C’s”. The first C is their competence; this is a measure of their business acumen and the skills they possess. The next C is their character; they look beyond skills and examine their whole set of values in life. The last C is their chemistry or their likeability. It is common place for an applicant to go through several applications before they are even considered for a position. Their final application is very comprehensive and time consuming but well worth it. Selected staff and operators go through a full day orientation with the top officials of the company called “Vision and Values”. Their goal is to bring the new members in step with the culture of Chick-fil-A and sustain that relationship over a long period of time. This orientation begins at 7am and ends around 2:30pm. After the orientation everyone goes to Dan T. Cathy’s house for dinner where he shows the Chick-fil-A culture by preparing and serving everything himself. I believe the leadership philosophy of Chick-fil-A is so successful because they really emphasize on character and chemistry. Most companies focus solely on skill level and really don’t pay much attention to character and chemistry. Chick-fil-A noticeably stands out because of this and I believe their great success is largely attributed to this unique leadership philosophy. A great example to this can be experienced by simply walking into a Chick-fil-A restaurant and interacting with the staff there. Clearly you will notice that these are likeable people that are pleasant to interact with. This did not happen by chance, they were selected specifically because they met the character and chemistry criteria of Chick-fil-A. I personally love that about Chick-fil-A and think it puts them way ahead of the competition.

References chick-fil-a.com. (2011). Company Fact Sheet http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Company/Highlights-Fact-Sheets BGS International Exchange. (2008). Ethical Business Leadership http://www.eblcenter.org/pdfs/cathy-ebl.pdf Wikipedia. (Last modified April, 2012). Chick-fil-A
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick-fil-A#History

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