I began writing about a decade ago when I was fortunate to team up with Ken Blanchard to write The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do. In 2011 I released The Secret of Teams outlining the key principles that enable some teams to outperform the all the rest. Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life came next in 2011. My upcoming book, The Heart of Leadership is scheduled for release in the fall of 2013. With more than 500,000 books in print, I’ve been surprised by the response and delighted to serve leaders through my writing.
In addition to writing, I really love speaking to leaders. Over the years, I’ve traveled extensively around the world teaching for numerous international organizations. My theme is always the same: encouraging and equipping leaders.
I also sell chicken. I started my Chick-fil-A career working as an hourly team member back in 1977. In 1978, I joined the corporate staff working in the warehouse and mailroom. Since then, I’ve provided leadership for Corporate Communications, Field Operations, Quality and Customer Satisfaction, Training and Development. Today I serve as the Vice President for Organizational Effectiveness. During my time with Chick-fil-A, annual sales have grown to over $5 billion and the company now has more than 1,700 restaurants in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart, Donna, for more than 30 years and we have two sons, a daughter-in-law and a grand-dog named Jackson. I keep a full schedule and live an active life. I work hard to stay fit – but I also have a weak spot for Starbucks – specifically, Venti, two pump, soy, mochas with no whip. I also love photography. I’ve had the privilege to shoot in some of the world’s hardest-to-reach places, including… Mount Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp, Antarctica and the jungles of Rwanda.
“Great Leaders Serve” is a statement that catches some leaders off guard. It’s not always the first thought that comes to mind when you think about leadership. It may even seem counterintuitive. The truth is the best leaders are servant leaders – those willing and eager to put the needs of the people they lead ahead of their own needs, desires and ambition.
When we say, “Great Leaders Serve,” we’re referring to both an attitude – an underlying desire to serve – and specific practices the best servant leaders exhibit on a regular basis.
We’ll unpack each of these practices in the months to come.
As you and I become leaders capable of embracing the attitude and delivering on these strategic practices, we will release tremendous reserves of potential into our own leadership, those we lead and the organizations we serve. That’s ultimately the goal of Great Leaders Serve – to unleash the potential of servant leaders, and as a result… change the world!
About The Logo
While searching for a mark to embody the spirit of Great Leaders Serve, we explored scores of ideas – some very literal and others more abstract. In the end, we selected the lightning bolt within a shield. Why these images?
Servant leadership, like lightning, contains tremendous amounts of potential. When we harness that potential, we can create a powerful force for positive change.
The shield conjures up the idea of a warrior, a clan or perhaps a crusader advancing an idea or a cause – maybe even a movement. We can envision a day when the world leads differently; a world with a new definition of leadership. A global movement of leaders who are living testimonies to the idea that Great Leaders Serve!