Operator Spotlight: Joe Anderson

Operator Spotlight: Joe Anderson

Meet Joe! We’ve had the awesome opportunity to partner with Joe for almost two years and counting. In that time, he’s gone from a leader in Chick-fil-A’s Leadership Development Program to the Operator of a freestanding Chick-fil-A restaurant in Houston.

Check out our recent Q&A with Joe.

What are you passionate about right now at work?

Just consistently growing and developing the team members. It’s really busy and I can’t do it by myself so I’m growing spiritually. I have to depend on Christ and I can’t continually put my identity in the restaurant and results because it’s going to fail at some point. I have to have a really rooted foundation.

What are you passionate about outside work?

Honestly, just developing myself to be better, personally and professionally. I’m trying to figure out how to continually diversify myself from a business perspective.

How did Chick-fil-A’s Leadership Development Program make you a better business owner?

My dad passed away when I was in LDP, so one of the biggest takeaways was learning through tragedy. Since then, I’ve dealt with multiple deaths on the team. It’s a reminder that within the business, life is still happening and you have to learn to balance this. I have more understanding when family members pass and I can point back to the empathy I learned while in LDP.

Another thing LDP taught me is that you have to own your own development. Prior to LDP, I thought of development differently, but I learned if you are going to change something, you are going to have to take control of your change.

How has coaching helped you?

Josh has given me a lot. I’m not as critical of myself anymore. I’m a huge competitor, but it’s given me the mindset of focusing on what’s important. If you don’t hit your goals, know why you didn’t hit your goals and what you can learn from it. I’ve continually self-examined as a business leader. I have also learned to ask questions and listen. I wasn’t a great listener, but now I’m much better at it.

What advice would you give a new business owner?

Invest yourself in your team. As the business continues to increase in complexity and demand, have an outside coach develop your leaders if you can. I don’t have the time every single day to sit down with my leaders and teach them, so I can outsource it and see my leaders continually growing. You can’t be reactive with development; you have to be proactive.

What’s the biggest challenge of opening a new business?

Trusting. You have to trust your team so you can step back sometimes and take care of yourself. The other thing is failing forward. We want to be perfect and there’s so much pressure on Operators to go multi-unit and then get a third and fourth restaurant, but it’s okay to fail. I’m really learning that because if I don’t make the mistake, I won’t learn. If my team doesn’t take the risk, then we will stay stagnant.

You’re a reader. What are some of your favorite books?

  1. The Bible
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People
  3. The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team
  4. Developing the Leader within You
Leader Spotlight: Sami VanVranken

Leader Spotlight: Sami VanVranken

Meet Sami! We’ve had the awesome opportunity to partner with Sami for almost two years and counting. In that time, she has gone from a top leader at Chick-fil-A Hunter’s Crossing to a Grand Opening Supervisor within Chick-fil-A’s Leadership Development Program. She has helped open Chick-fil-A’s in Las Vegas, Florida, and New York among others.

Check out our recent Q&A with Sami.

What are you passionate about right now at work?

Right now at work, I am most passionate about learning how urban markets operate and do business.

How about outside of work?

Outside of work, I am passionate about my friends, snowboarding, and reading (Harry Potter is my favorite).

How has coaching helped you grow?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been working with Trevero for over a year now. Sylvia has been my coach the entire time and has helped me to grow in my interview preparation, holding me accountable, challenging me on new things, and helping me to see other perspectives more clearly.

What is a favorite leadership resource you recommend?

I really like to read so I tend to usually find different leadership books that I find myself or that are recommended to me. With podcasts, my favorite one is How I Built This with Guy Raz. I really enjoy it because it gives you insight into a lot of different types of businesses and how they work. It’s refreshing and helps to broaden your perspective around business in general. 

Resource Round-up

Resource Round-up

Here’s an article, podcast + video I’m loving right now.

  1. Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to. Check out this short article for inspiration.
  2. Podcast: Story Brand interview with Horst Schulze, co-founder of the Ritz-Carlton. You can also read about the time I had chips and queso with Horst here.
  3. Video: 5- minute TED-Ed What would happen if you didn’t sleep. While you’re at it, check out my personal power nap strategy. Naps can be a game-changer!

Have a great week, y’all!

Video, Article, Podcast roundup

Video, Article, Podcast roundup

#1. How to break a habit (3 minute video)

Key takeaway: Before breaking a bad habit, first pay attention to the cues and triggers influencing that habit (environment, time of day, and overall patterns)

#2. Three unexpected reasons people don’t ask questions:

Key takeaway: We often assume that when someone comes to us with a question, we must know and give the perfect answer on the spot. Not true! This assumption leads to excessive, unhelpful advice-giving instead of probing deeper, finding the root issues, and letting the problem-solving process take place.

#3. EntreLeadership Podcast – Everyday Millionaires

Key takeaway: Ordinary people (even teachers!) can achieve extraordinary wealth. Follow Chris Hogan on Instagram for extra inspiration.

How to Lead YOU

How to Lead YOU

If you want to lead others well, you’ve got to start by leading you. Leading yourself to become a better leader and a better person requires humility, commitment, and self-awareness. Today, I’m focusing on the self-awareness piece.

None of us can see ourselves clearly. We need people outside of us who are willing to tell us the truth in love. We need to be radically honest with ourselves – Where are we weak? Where do we need to grow? If you can’t quickly name at least 3 weaknesses you’re working on right now, you’re missing out on your growth as a leader.

Here are some suggestions to enhance your self-awareness. Yes, sometimes the truth hurts. It’s never fun to be confronted with our character defects. But the truth beats self-deception. Only by seeing the truth can you change and become better!

Step 1: Ask trustworthy people what you could do better. Try friends, co-workers, bosses, your spouse—or all of the above. Don’t put them on the spot. Give them some advance notice so they have time to think about it, process it. Be careful how you word the question. Not, “Are there some things I could do better?” (yes or no question, makes it too easy to say no). Ask “What are some specific things I could do to make me a better leader?” Don’t settle for a “nothing—you’re great!” Press in until you get at least one constructive response.

Step 2: Thank them for their honesty. It’s hard to give honest feedback! Don’t bite their head off or get defensive. You are here to learn. Once you’ve demonstrated humility and self-control in your response, it’s time to take some time to process their feedback. Were you already aware of this weak spot? How do you think it might be present in other areas of your life? Once you’ve done some introspection, it’s time for step 3.

Step 3: Create a plan for change. Ask for accountability. Have your leadership coach check your progress at each meeting. Tell a friend to text you once a week to ask how you’re doing with your patience/attitude/communication, etc… Create a plan to improve, share it with at least one other person, and watch your leadership capabilities rise with each new improvement.

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