He made amazing chicken sandwiches that have caused me to gain many pounds AND had a deep commitment to Jesus Christ! S. Truett Cathy passed away Monday morning at the age of 93. He not only left behind a company in Chick-fil-A (CFA) that is now outselling Kentucky Fried Chicken (which is 3 times bigger), but also some revolutionary ideas that we can apply to our own lives…
1. A Good Environment is Key
In a culture where companies focus on the bottom line first, CFA focuses on creating a work environment where employees know they are valued and important. It’s amazing how people actually enjoy coming to work when they know they’re appreciated. What would family life look like if we took the same approach at home? Putting less focus on a clean house and impressing our friends and a bigger focus on making sure our spouse and kids feel loved.
2. Kind Words Go Far
According to David Salyers, a Vice President at Chick-fil-A, they strive to make a difference in the life of everyone who comes into the store on a given day. Try this out, thank someone at a CFA restaurant for something and see what they say to you…”My pleasure.” They realize words are important. Many places, you say “thank you” and they say nothing in return. Words are powerful. This is so true in our own lives as well. Look for a small way you can adjust your reaction to your spouse or kids today that will express your appreciation and your love. Let them know through your words that you love and care for them.
3. Rest is Important
In a culture that’s on the go 24/7, Truett Cathy decided it was important to take Sundays off. Even as a Christian, I could see myself rationalizing to keep CFA open on Sundays. It’s a multi-billion dollar business, after all. But, God encourages us to take a day out of our busy schedules. Jesus found time to rest during His time on earth, and He was busy saving the world! There’s value in rest. It reminds us that our success with anything in life is ultimately in God’s hands.
4. Be Clean in an Unclean World
The saying goes “Zig when others zag” and Truett did that in so many ways. As a guy who values a clean environment, the cleanliness of CFA sticks out to me instantly when I go in for my chicken and fries fix. Most fast food restaurants make me want to buy a new pair of shoes after leaving, while there’s a profound lack of stickiness on most CFA floors. The other way they demonstrate this commitment to cleanliness is by the companies with which they associate themselves. You won’t find them promoting the latest super hero movie. They’re promoting Veggie Tales and other media that represent clean, Christian values in a very unclean world. It sticks out. It’s noticed. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14) The first step to shining our faith for others is turning the light on….Living our faith out in a noticeable way.
[Oh, man, I just got a big ole craving. Who’s with me?]
Rest in peace, Mr. Cathy, and thank you for the lessons you’ve taught along the way.