Do you know when you should say, No?

Do you know when you should say, No?

Do you know when you should say, No? Do you have the courage to say, No? During my lifetime there have been many times when I needed to say, No.  These were times when it would have been easier to say, Yes. When in my early 20s, I sold restaurant equipment. I was the...
Do Not Compete with Your Boss

Do Not Compete with Your Boss

I vividly recall one afternoon when I returned to the Chick-fil-A home office after speaking at a local Kiwanis luncheon. When I saw my boss, Truett Cathy, I told him what a fine reception I had received, thinking he would be pleased by the positive emotional...
That Is Not In My Job Description!

That Is Not In My Job Description!

Mary is a woman who changes jobs often. As a result, it is not unusual for her to have long periods of unemployment between jobs. Several months ago, she told me that she had a new job and was pleased with the work and liked her boss. She was bubbling over with...
What Was the Secret to Their Success?

What Was the Secret to Their Success?

At this point, I can’t count the number of times I asked myself this question, “How did they do it?” Have you ever asked yourself this question? Books, blogs, and online videos claiming to hold the “secret to success” attract a lot of attention. It’s tempting to look...
Do You Want Your Customers To Come Back Again?

Do You Want Your Customers To Come Back Again?

Do you want your customers to come again? I can help you! Here is an example. As the chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A, I liked to visit our restaurants — unannounced.   It was easy for me to go in and order food like any other customer because very few of...
One Thing Leaders Don’t Tell Followers

One Thing Leaders Don’t Tell Followers

Do you know what leaders tell followers? I believe that you know the answers to both questions above, but may not be thinking about it.   A leader is someone with followers. Truett Cathy was my final career leader.  I was his follower. This is what he...
Are You Preparing for Leadership?

Are You Preparing for Leadership?

How much confidence do you have in your current understanding of leadership? How would you rate your level of knowledge regarding leadership? If I asked you this question: What is leadership? How would you reply? How you answer this one question reveals...
Do You Want to Increase Your Income?

Do You Want to Increase Your Income?

Do you know how to increase your income? It’s a simple process. I will explain. No matter what our age our first job is loaded with experiences we never forget.  A few experiences are good, others are bad and many fade to the back of our memory.  Today, I am thinking...
Are You Smarter Than Your Boss?

Are You Smarter Than Your Boss?

Are you smarter than your boss? Do you think you are smarter than your boss? If you are convinced you are smarter than your boss, what should you do? I cannot count the number of times people have expressed...
What Is Humility?

What Is Humility?

Humility is a word we hear and use frequently without much thought. What is humility? You may not see it often, but you will recognize it when you do.  This story is an example. It was New Year’s Eve 1978 and we had much to celebrate at Chick-fil-A as 1979 rolled...
Nothing Happens Until Somebody Sells Something

Nothing Happens Until Somebody Sells Something

Do you realize … nothing happens until somebody sells something? I am amazed that some people have such a difficult time determining what is important to the organization that provides their employment. Most of us view the organization we work for by what...
What If I Can’t Choose My Boss?

What If I Can’t Choose My Boss?

I’d like to thank all of you who read and commented on my post “Choose Your Boss.” This week’s post “What If I Can’t Choose My Boss?” follows up on that post. Brian was excited to update me on what had happened since I had last seen him. With a big smile, he said, “I...
Choose Your Boss!

Choose Your Boss!

Have you ever thought about looking for a boss rather than looking for a job? Think about it.  If you work within an organization, you probably have a boss.  Within an organization you need a boss. Yes!  I did say, “You need a boss.” You...
Seek Responsibility, Not Authority

Seek Responsibility, Not Authority

There are major differences in the pursuit of leadership roles and the practice of Creative Followership. Those pursuing leadership roles are seeking authority; they want to be in charge.  Often they aggressively seek authority, ask for authority, present their own...
How Will You Keep the Impossible Deadline?

How Will You Keep the Impossible Deadline?

It did not seem like an impossible deadline … when I promised to open the restaurant at 10:00 a.m. on August 12, 1971. We had opened 10 other restaurants, all of them on time. At Chick-fil-A, we were serious about our promises. We had promised to open four...
One Mistake I’ll Never Make Again

One Mistake I’ll Never Make Again

Here’s one mistake I’ll never make again … I will make sure I measure the right thing! If you measure the wrong thing you will get the wrong results. But if you measure the right thing, you will get the results you want, and recognize behavior you want repeated. I...
What did you get out of that book?

What did you get out of that book?

My friend walked up and said, “Jimmy, I didn’t get anything out of that book you recommended.” “You didn’t get anything?”   I asked. “That’s right … nothing!” Have you had a similar conversation? Which side of the exchange were you on? Often, people have...
My First Date

My First Date

Do you remember your first date? I do! It is no exaggeration to say it was a “memorable event.” Unlike most of my friends, I went on my first date at a rather young age. I asked a girl to go out with me when I was 9 years old. We were both in the third grade at Church...
Praise Perfect Performance

Praise Perfect Performance

I have been accused of being a perfectionist. When people call me a perfectionist, their tone of voice and facial expression give the impression that they are describing a diseased person, maybe a mentally diseased person.  Have you seen this?  Have you been...
Are You Creative?

Are You Creative?

Are you creative? What have you invented? If you are asked what you created or invented, how would you reply? When I received the Email, I chuckled.  Even though I had been asked before, I never had a choice of two answers.  The question was: “What two...
It’s ‘My Way’ Or ‘The Highway!’

It’s ‘My Way’ Or ‘The Highway!’

That popular expression of power is often used in referring to the attitude of tough bosses.  Some of those bosses enjoy stating it themselves.  I worked for more than one boss who liked to say, “It’s my way or the highway!” During my twenties, I worked for...
How Was Your Meal?

How Was Your Meal?

“How was your meal?”  A well-intentioned assistant manager is wandering through the dining room asking that worthless question. You have been there, we all have.  Every one of us has been through this irritating restaurant experience. Finally, he stops at...
Do You Know the One Word Essential For Decision-Making?

Do You Know the One Word Essential For Decision-Making?

This word might be the most important word in the English language.This word is an essential ingredient to assertive and responsible decision-making.Here is the word:  Proper use of this word will signal to the world around you who you really are. It clearly...
The Man Nobody Knows

The Man Nobody Knows

Over the years, I heard people say, “When I think of what Jesus did for me, it brings tears to my eyes.” It never affected me that way! For me, accepting Jesus was an intellectual decision. There was nothing emotional about it. I have never considered myself an...
The Most Important Decisions

The Most Important Decisions

A young man asked, “Mr. Drucker, what is the most important decision an executive must make?”Peter Drucker replied, “The most important decisions that executives make are people decisions.” His advice resonates through my mind today as if he had just said it a minute...
Why Go the Second Mile?

Why Go the Second Mile?

What does it take for an employee to stand out? Many people have the false impression that if they perform at what is commonly called “110%” they will stand out and be recognized as outstanding performers. That might work if all of your coworkers are performing in the...
What Every Leader Must Have

What Every Leader Must Have

There are leaders, and there are followers; this is not a complex idea.  As a matter of fact and by definition, there is no leader unless there are followers. A leader is someone who has followers.  There is no need to add adjectives to leader to...
Unnecessary Work

Unnecessary Work

As soon as she saw it, my thirteen-year-old granddaughter, McKibben said, “That sign is unnecessary.” How many of these have you seen?  I have seen signs like this in many places.  Most often they mark sidewalks that will never be used simply because they go...
The One Thing All Leaders Have In Common

The One Thing All Leaders Have In Common

Leaders have at least one thing in common. Do you know what that is? Leaders look like everyone else. They may be any age, gender or race. They may have any level of education, talents, wealth or authority. How can you separate the leader from the crowd? Leaders...
Fire Your . . . Boss?

Fire Your . . . Boss?

Would you like to fire your boss? Sometimes people work for the wrong boss, year after year and complain that they are going nowhere within the organization.  Why do they do it? Probably the number one reason is fear of the unknown.  They are afraid to go...
Do This And You Won’t Strike Out

Do This And You Won’t Strike Out

I learned a principle early in life, while playing softball, that guided me when confronting the biggest challenges in my career. I discovered it is OK to ask for help. We all find ourselves in need of a little help. Some lessons come to us early in life. I...
Why You Should Be Thankful for a “Do-Nothing” Boss

Why You Should Be Thankful for a “Do-Nothing” Boss

One of the most important Principles of Creative Followership is – Do What Your Boss Does Not Like to Do. There are other related Principles.  Even though they are practical and effective when understood, I have found many employees are surprised when I explain...
Measuring the Wrong Things?

Measuring the Wrong Things?

Measuring the wrong things? You will get the wrong results! Guaranteed! Can you recognize when someone is measuring the wrong things? Do you see the similarity of these two incidents? I had just checked into my favorite motel in Johnson City, TN, and then asked for my...
How Did Truett Cathy Do It?

How Did Truett Cathy Do It?

Truett Cathy told me what he wanted me to do, but he did not tell me how to do it.  A good boss gives direction by telling workers what he wants and he leaves it up to them to figure out how to do it. He let me use my initiative and creativity to get the job...
Should You Work While In College?

Should You Work While In College?

While talking with the father of two teenagers, he said, ”I don’t want my kids to work part-time jobs.” He went on, “It’s too much trouble getting them back and forth to work.  A job interferes with schoolwork and extracurricular activities.” Vacation trips in...
There Are No Perfect Decisions

There Are No Perfect Decisions

People ask me, “How do you make good decisions?” I have learned that the issue is not about making good decisions. The issue is making your decisions good. There is no such thing as a perfect decision. You know this even though you may not have given it much thought....
Choose A Good Boss

Choose A Good Boss

We all dreamed of a good career. For many, it did not happen. What went wrong? Too many of us looked for a job when what we needed to do was to choose a good boss. Choosing a good boss is the first step to enjoying the success and satisfaction of a good career....
When You Make a Poor Decision Here: Everybody Knows

When You Make a Poor Decision Here: Everybody Knows

If you make a good decision in this area — your coworkers will notice. If you make a poor decision in this area — everybody notices. Do you know what area I’m talking about? When wise men speak are you listening?  When your coworkers know, do you know? Here is...
My New Year’s Resolution

My New Year’s Resolution

Have you set a New Year’s Resolution yet? If not, consider this… —Do you like it when someone takes the time to tell you that you did a great job? —Do you feel appreciated when someone asks your opinion on account of your knowledge and experience? . . . of course you...
Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:12-20 12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest,And on earth peace...
Your Shovel to Success!

Your Shovel to Success!

Would you like to be successful? Really? Are you willing to pay the price of success? Are you sure? Go back with me to the summer of 1981.  We were sliding downhill into the worst recession that I ever experienced.  I’m 81 years old. Chick-fil-A was in...
Do You Know the Reason You Were Hired?

Do You Know the Reason You Were Hired?

Do you know the reason you were hired? I learned the answer to this question the first day of my first job. You already know the reason you wanted a job. I know the reason I wanted my first job. I needed a job, a job with a steady income.  I worked...
When Is It Acceptable to Lie?

When Is It Acceptable to Lie?

When is it acceptable to lie? Is this a question that must be answered? Absolutely! Since it is a question that must be answered, when is it acceptable to lie? Webster says that to lie is: to make a statement that one knows is false, especially with intent to deceive....
Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

PSALM 100 A PSALM FOR GIVING GRATEFUL PRAISE. 1 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness;Come before Him with joyful singing. 3 Know that the Lord Himself is God;It is He who has made us,...
Why You Should Verify

Why You Should Verify

Have you ever planned a wonderful event that turned into a disaster? That is why you should verify. Here is my story of how I learned the hard way. How many meals have you eaten? How many do you remember? I have eaten over 87,000 meals, but I don t remember very many....
Keep It Short

Keep It Short

I heard something 61 years ago that I still remember, word for word, today. My wife, Oleta and I were on our way to Grant Field for a Georgia Tech football game. We were walking as fast as we could, trying to get to our seats before the kickoff. Because we...
A Good Boss to Choose

A Good Boss to Choose

“How do Chick-fil-A restaurants attract so many good employees?” People ask me this question all the time. Here’s what we all know: Good employees perform better for good bosses. Good employees are happy employees when they work for a good boss. Good employees...
Responsibility is Not a Group Concept

Responsibility is Not a Group Concept

It was an unscheduled, called, off-premises meeting of the board of trustees without the chief executive officer. Every trustee was in agreement; it was time for the CEO to retire. The CEO was one of the founders of the organization; a highly regarded non-profit...
This Definition of Leadership May Surprise You

This Definition of Leadership May Surprise You

Defining — and especially redefining — leadership is a popular activity for people engaged in the study of organizational efficiency. Why are so many concerned about the words they use to describe leadership? Is it that difficult to define? You may be...
Dealing with Professional Discouragement

Dealing with Professional Discouragement

Discouragement is a challenge for every executive. Actually, discouragement is a challenge for every one of us, no matter what our role, in our personal life, and in our professional life. As a teenager, I realized that I could face...
One Principle You Need to Know About Discouragement

One Principle You Need to Know About Discouragement

For most people, dealing with personal discouragement is tough. Discouragement can drag you down quickly unless you learn to deal with it in a positive manner. At a young age, I realized that everyone I know faces some form of discouragement in life. I also noticed...
Are You Are A Worker Or A Follower?

Are You Are A Worker Or A Follower?

Are You a Follower or Worker? Which one are you? Are you a follower? Are you a worker? Do you know the difference? A worker is someone with a boss. Many people start their careers as a worker.  Usually, they are not working for a boss they have chosen.  They...
Why Your Perfect Job Performance Did Not Get Noticed

Why Your Perfect Job Performance Did Not Get Noticed

Nobody notices ‘perfect’ – everybody notices imperfect. Surely, you know this. I do and I don’t like it, yet I am as guilty as everyone else. When everything works like it’s supposed to, my expectations have been met, and I am satisfied. Why should I consider...
Who’s Going to Fix It?

Who’s Going to Fix It?

My coauthor, Michael Cooley and I were on our way to a speaking engagement about a five-hour drive from home, where we would be making videos for group study of the Principles of Creative Followership. Along the way, we decided to stop and eat at one of our favorite...
People Will Remember Your Name If . . .

People Will Remember Your Name If . . .

Do people forget your name? You can do something about that. Give them something to help them remember who you are. Tell Your Own Story! Here are seven ways to tell your own story when you meet someone. 1. Tell a story to explain your name. When I met Surama...
Executives: This One Decision Is the Most Important

Executives: This One Decision Is the Most Important

There is one decision to make that is the most important for all executives. It was Chick-fil-A’s annual Operators Seminar. Fred arrived for his requested private meeting with the CEO, Truett Cathy and me. Fred was a very dissatisfied Operator (franchisee). He had...
The Importance of a Clean Restroom

The Importance of a Clean Restroom

People are watching. What will they see you doing? People are listening. What will they hear you saying? Will they see you walk your talk? I like to see everything around me clean, neatly arranged, and in the proper place. That is what I have preached for years. My...
Do Executives Really Retire?

Do Executives Really Retire?

Too many executives enjoy their retirement celebration but don’t get out of the business. You know this is how it often happens because you have seen it. Some executives want to hang on in a consulting role. Others are still anxious to share their wisdom and advice...
You Can’t Know Everything

You Can’t Know Everything

One of my friends saved my life.  Can I prove that?  No,  but I believe he did.  That’s enough for me. I believed I was dying, and he said I was.   He was the smartest man I ever knew; I believed him. Anthony A. Malizia, Jr., MD, a nationally...
Peter Drucker’s First Principle of Time Management

Peter Drucker’s First Principle of Time Management

When the end of the day rolls around, have you ever thought to yourself, “Where did my time go today?” If so, do you often vow to handle your time management better tomorrow? Do you commit to do a better job of planning? Most people do. Their intention is good....
Are You Underpaid? Do Something About It!

Are You Underpaid? Do Something About It!

Do You Feel Underpaid? How many times have you felt underpaid? What did you do about it? Ask this question and most people will respond the same way.  It usually sounds something like this: “I feel underpaid.” “ I am convinced my boss does not appreciate me.” “I...
Leadership Redefined

Leadership Redefined

Is Creative Followership just a redefinition of lower level leadership? No! Creative Followership is a better approach to career advancement.  The creative follower is seeking more responsibility and opportunities to express him or herself.  The creative...
Pass the Story On

Pass the Story On

Why do you tell those stories of when you were young? That’s a question I enjoy answering.  When I write or speak, I want to do more than reach those who read or hear my message.  I want them to remember my main point or points. Audiences have little...
Common Sense and Creative Followership

Common Sense and Creative Followership

I received this email from a reader of my book, Creative Followership. “Jimmy, there is nothing unique about your book.  It is just plain old common sense.”My reply:  “Yes, but how many young people know it?”His response:  “Not many!” There seems...
Preach Your Own Sermon

Preach Your Own Sermon

I was looking forward to John’s sermon. John (not his real name) was a loved and respected Associate Minister at our church. He didn’t have an opportunity to preach often, but when he did, he very effectively delivered a message that was validated because he was a...
Do the Difficult and Dirty

Do the Difficult and Dirty

I was on a mission of encouragement. Matt Wilson was discouraged. His field consultant had told me that he was very discouraged. Matt was a talented young man that had shown a lot of promise working in one of our restaurants. The franchisee he worked for had...
The Only Useable Feedback is Negative Feedback

The Only Useable Feedback is Negative Feedback

With just enough time to make it to my lunch appointment, I rushed out of the church as soon as the Sunday morning service came to an end. The preacher’s illustrations and sermon clearly communicated a good message. The music, a blend of contemporary and traditional,...
Three Es of an Engaging Presentation

Three Es of an Engaging Presentation

You have been there.  I have been there.  We all have been there. The speaker is introduced; he tells a tired old joke, quotes several authorities, reads his notes, reads his PowerPoint slides, accepts the audience’s polite applause and sits down. His...
My Most Demanding Boss

My Most Demanding Boss

While working at Chick-fil-A, as soon as I learned that we had a problem, the first thing I did was work out a suitable solution.  The second thing I did was inform my boss, Truett Cathy, of the problem and the solution that was already under way. My boss said...
Tell Your Own Story

Tell Your Own Story

On a Sunday afternoon in the Autumn of 1946, following a delicious dinner of Grandma’s fried chicken, my father, my uncles, and older cousins gathered on the back porch of her old weather worn sharecropper house. Those arriving too late to get one of the rocking...
Are You the Boss People Want?

Are You the Boss People Want?

If you supervise a single person, you must answer this question. Are you the boss people want? Have you thought about what potential employees are looking for? Have you seriously thought about how that affects your ability to hire good employees? Surely, you recognize...
Always Do Your Best

Always Do Your Best

I did not like school. I liked to learn, but I did not like school. Most of the time I was bored and disinterested. My body was present in the classroom, but my mind was far away. I did like learning what I considered useful and practical. Subjects like math and...
Common Sense and Creative Followership

Common Sense and Creative Followership

I received this email from a reader of my book, Creative Followership. “Jimmy, there is nothing unique about your book.  It is just plain old common sense.”My reply:  “Yes, but how many young people know it?”His response:  “Not many!” There seems...
The Man Nobody Knows

The Man Nobody Knows

Over the years, I heard people say, “When I think of what Jesus did for me, it brings tears to my eyes.” It never affected me that way! For me, accepting Jesus was an intellectual decision. There was nothing emotional about it. I have never considered myself an...
Any Job Worth Doing

Any Job Worth Doing

My daddy planted a large garden in our backyard. No, let me correct that. My daddy turned our backyard into a garden. During World War II, most of the folks in our neighborhood planted a “Victory Garden.” It was the patriotic thing to do, and for our large family, it...
Ride the Right Train

Ride the Right Train

At daybreak on April 19, 1969, my wife, Oleta, and I boarded the Central of Georgia Railway’s deluxe passenger train, the Nancy Hanks II, from Savannah to Atlanta. We looked forward not only to the ride but the excellent food service on this train, the breakfast...
Never Say: “I Told You!”

Never Say: “I Told You!”

As he voted “No,” he said emphatically: “I want you to remember that I opposed this proposal!” The only board member opposed to the proposal and the one who contributed nothing positive to the discussion prior to the vote is the one who voted no. His only objective...
The Advantage of Not Knowing

The Advantage of Not Knowing

I am glad I did not know. I am glad no one knew. When I went to work for Truett Cathy to help him build the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain, I was the third staff employee.  None of us knew. None of us had built or operated or even worked in a restaurant...
What Do You Do When a Problem Is Too Big?

What Do You Do When a Problem Is Too Big?

What do you do when a problem is too big? We have all faced problems that were too big and tasks that seemed impossible. In those situations, some people choose to attack directly, go straight in, give all they’ve got and hope it will be enough. Have you tried it?...
Do You Need a Dress Code?

Do You Need a Dress Code?

Who needs a dress code? Do you need a dress code? Are dress codes necessary? Many believe workplace dress codes are not necessary and interfere with their self-expression. How about you? I felt that way in 1954, the year I graduated from high school. For me, jeans and...
Are You Using Your Personal Power?

Are You Using Your Personal Power?

Are You Using Your Personal Power? Are you using your personal power, or are you relying on your position power? Do you know the difference between the two types of power? Positional power is the authority you hold within the structure and hierarchy of your...
This “Formula for Success” Really Works

This “Formula for Success” Really Works

How many times have you heard the claim: “This Success Formula Really Works!” What do books of success formulas have in common? Even though presented in an endless variety of formats with unlimited styles of window dressing, they all boil down to a to-do list. ...
Create A Good Working Relationship with Your Boss

Create A Good Working Relationship with Your Boss

Do you want to create a good working relationship with your boss? Do you want to advance your career? I can help you. For 32 years, I worked for Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A. Many people ask, “How did you create such a good working relationship with...
Are You Easily Discouraged?

Are You Easily Discouraged?

Are you easily discouraged? How much does it take to discourage you? How do you deal with discouragement? As a youngster, I learned discouraging situations are something we all encounter; it is just part of life. I realized for some people discouragement is a terrible...
Do-It-Yourself Career Advancement

Do-It-Yourself Career Advancement

Did you know your career advancement is a do-it-yourself activity? Ask yourself: Is my career going where I want it to go? You can learn how to advance your career, and do-it-yourself, while on the job. Many people approach career advancement as they would a snipe...
Rules are Like Rabbits!

Rules are Like Rabbits!

“Rabbits do not make good pets!” my father said emphatically.“Daddy, please!  They are so cute and cuddly–they won’t be any trouble,”  I pleaded.“They are nothing but trouble; you will see and be sorry,” he said as he relented.Oh, how I wish I had listened!...
Your Favorite Role Model!

Your Favorite Role Model!

Who is your favorite role model? Why is he or she your favorite? When were you first attracted to that person? What happened that captured your attention? Do you realize how important that role model is to you? Stop and think about this … You will acquire the...
Be Thankful for Strong-Willed Critics

Be Thankful for Strong-Willed Critics

Most people do not like strong-willed critics who question their actions, hold them accountable, or express opposing views. That is unfortunate, because they are missing out on an opportunity for growth. That’s right! Strong-willed criticism is a wonderful opportunity...
Always Apologize, Never Explain

Always Apologize, Never Explain

Customer complaints are an excellent source of feedback. Therefore, a customer complaint represents a colossal opportunity. It is a shame that the opportunity usually turns into a dismal disappointment for both parties because it does not have to be that way. Customer...
My New Year’s Resolution

My New Year’s Resolution

Have you set a New Year’s Resolution yet? If not, consider this… —Do you like it when someone takes the time to tell you that you did a great job? —Do you feel appreciated when someone asks your opinion on account of your knowledge and experience? . . . of course you...
Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:12-20 12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest,And on earth peace...
My Worst Boss

My Worst Boss

From my first job until I retired, I worked 53 years.  My bosses ranged from horrible to great. My worst boss was a man I will call Mr. Smith. When I went to work for him, he was having an affair with the full-time checkout clerk at a small, old, run-down...
Take Responsibility

Take Responsibility

Can you see them? They are all around you. They are opportunities. Are you aware of how many surround you each day? Many people miss out on great opportunities because they don’t see them. I want you to know how you can improve your vision and see more clearly the...
Recognize the Craftsman, Not the Tools

Recognize the Craftsman, Not the Tools

My wife and I enjoy watching birds. As bird watchers, we look forward to the pleasure of visiting our favorite store for feeders, bird identification guides and of course, bird seed. One day I went to the store and I saw a new display of bird photographs on the wall....
What’s Different About Creative Followership?

What’s Different About Creative Followership?

Have you noticed that there are very few books on followership? Why are there so few books on followership? What’s different about Creative Followership? The authors of the best books on followership that I have read have based their message on research or...
Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

PSALM 100 A PSALM FOR GIVING GRATEFUL PRAISE. 1 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. 3 Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and...
Do Not Hoard Authority!

Do Not Hoard Authority!

Do Not Hoard Authority A Creative Follower is constantly looking for opportunities to do what the boss does not like to do, then doing them better than they have ever been done before. By this process you add value to the boss by giving him/her more time to do what...
Be a Problem Solver, Name Your Price

Be a Problem Solver, Name Your Price

My boss said, “I don’t like problems.” When I heard him say this, I knew I needed to become a problem solver!  My boss wanted to pick and choose his problems.  S. Truett Cathy, the late founder and CEO of Chick-fil-A, Inc., was a great problem solver.  But, he was...
Is It Better to Restrain Mustangs than to Kick Mules?

Is It Better to Restrain Mustangs than to Kick Mules?

Yes. Do you know why? At Chick-fil-A, I constantly reminded people, “It is better to restrain mustangs than kick mules.” By “mustangs,” I mean the people who live and work on the edge of their authority and occasionally beyond. “Mules” are those who reluctantly and...
What Does It Take to Make You Angry?

What Does It Take to Make You Angry?

Have you thought about this; what does it take to make you angry? We all have the capacity to be angry. There are times when we should be angry! When I was a boy, one of my favorite movie stars was the cowboy Wild Bill Elliott. I especially liked it when he would say...
What Will You Do When Your Boss Says THIS?

What Will You Do When Your Boss Says THIS?

Most of us have heard a boss say, “You do your job and let him do his.” Maybe your boss has said that to you.   Territorialist bosses like to say, “You do your job and let her do hers.”   Limiting the territory of their workers is one of their methods of...
Do You Want Your Customers To Come Back Again?

Do You Want Your Customers To Come Back Again?

Do you want your customers to come again? I can help you! Here is an example. As the chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A, I liked to visit our restaurants — unannounced.   It was easy for me to go in and order food like any other customer because very few of the...
Do You Want to Increase Your Income?

Do You Want to Increase Your Income?

Do you know how to increase your income? It’s a simple process. I will explain. No matter what our age our first job is loaded with experiences we never forget.  A few experiences are good, others are bad and many fade to the back of our memory.  Today, I am thinking...
Why People Quit Jobs They Like

Why People Quit Jobs They Like

Do you know why people quit a job they like? Do you know why people leave a company or organization they like? Here’s why people quit  jobs or leave companies they like. I will use a real-life example to illustrate my point My wife and I were on the way to Nashville,...
Do You Do What All Business-Builders Do?

Do You Do What All Business-Builders Do?

Do you know what all Business-Builders know? Do you do what all Business-Builders do?   If you knew what all Business-Builders know, would you be willing to do what all Business-Builders do? Are you willing to do something out of the ordinary to exceed...
Seek Responsibility, Not Authority

Seek Responsibility, Not Authority

There are major differences in the pursuit of leadership roles and the practice of Creative Followership. Those pursuing the leadership roles are seeking authority; they want to be in charge.  Often they aggressively seek authority, ask for authority, present their...
Do Not Wait To Be Told What To Do

Do Not Wait To Be Told What To Do

Great leaders are great because they have surrounded themselves with followers who not only get things done and get them done with excellence but also find things that need to be done and accomplish them before they are told to do so. Performing to the best of one’s...
What did you get out of that book?

What did you get out of that book?

My friend walked up and said, “Jimmy, I didn’t get anything out of that book you recommended.” “You didn’t get anything?”   I asked. “That’s right … nothing!” Have you had a similar conversation? Which side of the exchange were you on? Often, people have told me...
My First Date

My First Date

Do you remember your first date? I do! It is no exaggeration to say it was a “memorable event.” Unlike most of my friends, I went on my first date at a rather young age. I asked a girl to go out with me when I was 9 years old. We were both in the third grade at Church...
Fire Your . . . Boss?

Fire Your . . . Boss?

Would you like to fire your boss? Sometimes people work for the wrong boss, year after year and complain that they are going nowhere within the organization.  Why do they do it? Probably the number one reason is fear of the unknown.  They are afraid to go out and look...
My New Year’s Resolution

My New Year’s Resolution

Have you set a New Year’s Resolution yet? If not, consider this… —Do you like it when someone takes the time to tell you that you did a great job? —Do you feel appreciated when someone asks your opinion on account of your knowledge and experience? . . . of...
Choose A Good Boss

Choose A Good Boss

  We all dreamed of a good career. For many, it did not happen. What went wrong? Too many of us looked for a job when what we needed to do was to choose a good boss. Choosing a good boss is the first step to enjoying the success and satisfaction of a good career....
Your Shovel To Success!

Your Shovel To Success!

Would you like to be successful? Really? Are you willing to pay the price of success? Are you sure? Go back with me to the summer of 1981.  We were sliding downhill into the worst recession that I ever experienced.  I’m 81 years old. Chick-fil-A was in the midst of a...
Do You Know the Reason You Were Hired?

Do You Know the Reason You Were Hired?

Do you know the reason you were hired? I learned the answer to this question the first day of my first job. You already know the reason you wanted a job. I know the reason I wanted my first job. I needed a job, a job with a steady income.  I worked for people in the...
When is it Acceptable to Lie?

When is it Acceptable to Lie?

When is it acceptable to lie? Is this a question that must be answered? Absolutely! Since it is a question that must be answered, when is it acceptable to lie? Webster says that to lie is: to make a statement that one knows is false, especially with intent to deceive....
Keep It Short

Keep It Short

I heard something 61 years ago that I still remember, word for word, today. My wife, Oleta and I were on our way to Grant Field for a Georgia Tech football game. We were walking as fast as we could, trying to get to our seats before the kickoff. Because we didn’t...
A Good Boss to Choose

A Good Boss to Choose

“How do Chick-fil-A restaurants attract so many good employees?” People ask me this question all the time. Here’s what we all know: Good employees perform better for good bosses. Good employees are happy employees when they work for a good boss. Good employees...
One Principle You Need to Know About Discouragement

One Principle You Need to Know About Discouragement

For most people, dealing with personal discouragement is tough. Discouragement can drag you down quickly unless you learn to deal with it in a positive manner. At a young age, I realized that everyone I know faces some form of discouragement in life. I also noticed...
Are You Are A Worker Or A Follower?

Are You Are A Worker Or A Follower?

Are You a Follower or Worker? Which one are you? Are you a follower? Are you a worker? Do you know the difference? A worker is someone with a boss. Many people start their careers as a worker.  Usually, they are not working for a boss they have chosen.  They apply for...
When is A Sentence Too Long?

When is A Sentence Too Long?

When Is a Sentence Too Long? How long are your sentences? When is a sentence too long? Here is a 146-word sentence I encountered on page 383 of Carl Sandburg’s fifth volume of his six-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln. Is this sentence too long?  In various angles...
The Importance of a Clean Restroom

The Importance of a Clean Restroom

People are watching. What will they see you doing? People are listening. What will they hear you saying? Will they see you walk your talk? I like to see everything around me clean, neatly arranged, and in the proper place. That is what I have preached for years. My...
Do Executives Really Retire?

Do Executives Really Retire?

Too many executives enjoy their retirement celebration but don’t get out of the business. You know this is how it often happens because you have seen it. Some executives want to hang on in a consulting role. Others are still anxious to share their wisdom and advice...
You Can’t Know Everything

You Can’t Know Everything

One of my friends saved my life.  Can I prove that?  No,  but I believe he did.  That’s enough for me. I believed I was dying, and he said I was.   He was the smartest man I ever knew; I believed him. Anthony A. Malizia, Jr., MD, a nationally known Urologist, was my...
Are You Underpaid? Do Something About It!

Are You Underpaid? Do Something About It!

Do You Feel Underpaid? How many times have you felt underpaid? What did you do about it? Ask this question and most people will respond the same way.  It usually sounds something like this: “I feel underpaid.” “ I am convinced my boss does not appreciate me.” “I am...
Do Your Brogans Leak?

Do Your Brogans Leak?

In early September 1942, I prepared to enter the first grade at Church Street Elementary School.  My mother made new shirts and bought me a pair of new denim overalls.  Getting ready for school also required a lunch box, a raincoat, and a new pair of shoes. Mother...
Three Es of an Engaging Presentation

Three Es of an Engaging Presentation

You have been there.  I have been there.  We all have been there. The speaker is introduced; he tells a tired old joke, quotes several authorities, reads his notes, reads his PowerPoint slides, accepts the audience’s polite applause and sits down. His problem was that...
My Most Demanding Boss

My Most Demanding Boss

While working at Chick-fil-A, as soon as I learned that we had a problem, the first thing I did was work out a suitable solution.  The second thing I did was inform my boss, Truett Cathy, of the problem and the solution that was already under way. My boss said that he...
Tell Your Own Story

Tell Your Own Story

On a Sunday afternoon in the Autumn of 1946, following a delicious dinner of Grandma’s fried chicken, my father, my uncles, and older cousins gathered on the back porch of her old weather worn sharecropper house. Those arriving too late to get one of the rocking...
3 Reasons to Consider Creative Followership

3 Reasons to Consider Creative Followership

As an unpublished Author, I searched for a literary agent to help me convince a first rate publisher that I had a book potential readers would willingly purchase. Even if you have not tried it yourself, you have heard the stories of how difficult it is to find a...
Common Sense and Creative Followership

Common Sense and Creative Followership

I received this email from a reader of my book, Creative Followership. “Jimmy, there is nothing unique about your book.  It is just plain old common sense.” My reply:  “Yes, but how many young people know it?” His response:  “Not many!” There seems to be a prevailing...
Any Job Worth Doing . . .

Any Job Worth Doing . . .

My daddy planted a large garden in our backyard. No, let me correct that. My daddy turned our backyard into a garden. During World War II, most of the folks in our neighborhood planted a “Victory Garden.” It was the patriotic thing to do, and for our large family, it...
Never Say: “I Told You!”

Never Say: “I Told You!”

As he voted “No,” he said emphatically: “I want you to remember that I opposed this proposal!” The only board member opposed to the proposal and the one who contributed nothing positive to the discussion prior to the vote is the one who voted no. His only objective...
Rules are Like Rabbits!

Rules are Like Rabbits!

“Rabbits do not make good pets!” my father said emphatically. “Daddy, please!  They are so cute and cuddly–they won’t be any trouble,”  I pleaded. “They are nothing but trouble; you will see and be sorry,” he said as he relented. Oh, how I wish I had listened! I...
What Do You Do When a Problem is Too Big?

What Do You Do When a Problem is Too Big?

What do you do when a problem is too big? We have all faced problems that were too big and tasks that seemed impossible. In those situations, some people choose to attack directly, go straight in, give all they’ve got and hope it will be enough. Have you tried it?...
Create a Good Working Relationship with Your Boss

Create a Good Working Relationship with Your Boss

Do you want to create a good working relationship with your boss? Do you want to advance your career? I can help you. For 32 years, I worked for Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A. Many people ask, “How did you create such a good working relationship with...
Do You Need a Dress Code?

Do You Need a Dress Code?

Who needs a dress code? Do you need a dress code? Are dress codes necessary? Many believe workplace dress codes are not necessary and interfere with their self-expression. How about you? I felt that way in 1954, the year I graduated from high school. For me, jeans and...
This “Formula for Success” Really Works

This “Formula for Success” Really Works

How many times have you heard the claim: “This Success Formula Really Works!” What do books of success formulas have in common? Even though presented in an endless variety of formats with unlimited styles of window dressing, they all boil down to a to-do...
Bottom Up Thinking

Bottom Up Thinking

The host introduced me as the author of Creative Followership, and his first question for me was, “How is Creative Followership different from leadership?” That is a question I often hear. For some reason, many people cannot think about career relationships without...
My Worst Boss

My Worst Boss

From my first job until I retired, I worked 53 years.  My bosses ranged from horrible to great. My worst boss was a man I will call Mr. Smith. When I went to work for him, he was having an affair with the full-time checkout clerk at a small, old, run-down store that...
Take Responsibility

Take Responsibility

Can you see them? They are all around you. They are opportunities. Are you aware of how many surround you each day? Many people miss out on great opportunities because they don’t see them. I want you to know how you can improve your vision and see more clearly the...
Recognize the Craftsman, Not the Tools

Recognize the Craftsman, Not the Tools

  My wife and I enjoy watching birds. As bird watchers, we look forward to the pleasure of visiting our favorite store for feeders, bird identification guides and of course, bird seed. One day I went to the store and I saw a new display of bird photographs on the...
What’s different about Creative Followership?

What’s different about Creative Followership?

Have you noticed that there are very few books on followership? Why are there so few books on followership? What’s different about Creative Followership? The authors of the best books on followership that I have read have based their message on research or...
Be a Problem Solver, Name Your Price

Be a Problem Solver, Name Your Price

My boss said, “I don’t like problems.” When I heard him say this, I knew I needed to become a problem solver!  My boss wanted to pick and choose his problems.  S. Truett Cathy, the late founder and CEO of Chick-fil-A, Inc., was a great problem solver.  But, he was...
Do Not Hoard Authority!

Do Not Hoard Authority!

  Do Not Hoard Authority A Creative Follower is constantly looking for opportunities to do what the boss does not like to do, then doing them better than they have ever been done before. By this process you add value to the boss by giving him/her more time to do...
What Does It Take to Make You Angry?

What Does It Take to Make You Angry?

Have you thought about this; what does it take to make you angry? We all have the capacity to be angry. There are times when we should be angry! When I was a boy, one of my favorite movie stars was the cowboy Wild Bill Elliott. I especially liked it when he would say...