I have been involved with and long admired the story of Chick Fil - A.
From day one back in 1964 when S. Truett Cathy founded the business - it has been about of serving guests great food and remarkable service. It has been focussed on one product that has arisen from the Original Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich. Family-owned and privately held, independent franchised Operators focus and, it invests communities (here is a link to the company values) – they are close to my heart
Their expansion to Canada is where our lives intersect on Sept. 6, 2019 here in Toronto. Besides their first store at Bloor and Younge, there are stores now 8 new stores in Ontario in Yorkdale Mall, Kitchener, Scarborough, Vaughan, Barrie and soon the Eaton Centre – in fact an additional 20 restaurant locations across the country by 2025.
If you check their menu – they are about you guessed it – they are about Chicken! Yes they have salads, drinks, potatoes fries, and even soup – but all of it connects back to the Chicken. They are about chicken and they have never swayed from that. They have been intentional about that, and about that being their great food. And they have been devoted to great customer experience, giving back to the community and investing in their empoyees, with a simple rally cry - #thelittlethings. Chick-fil-A’s founder, S. Truett Cathy, believed a “great company is a caring company.”
They do not worry about image per say, they worry about intentionality. Intentionality is clarity on what you are about and who you want to become. Intentionality gets them to the finish line. For example the Leadership Development Program at Chick-fil-A® teaches those who will be owners, managers and leads, to never get complacent as an individual and a leader. Sure you grow and find out firsthand what it takes to lead the operations of a quick-service restaurant, how to grow your business acumen and restaurant leadership skills. But at the core of the Leadership Development Program is the intentional simple rally cry - #thelittlethings.
Why do I resonate with this so much. Well because I firmly believe that the key to Thriving is about forming the WHO before the DO. You have to understand deeply who you are (values) and what guides you, before you can accurately and authentically undertake your DO.
Sometimes I coach business owners, and they tell me I want to be about “X”. Or I coach individuals and they say they want their personal brand to be “X”. But are they speaking about image or intention?
Image is perception – "I want people to see this". Intention is about thoughts, beliefs, desires, hopes – focussed on “X”. Image is about product. Intention is about purpose
I often speak about – in fact last week’s Podcast Episode 59 - Who Before Do was all about this. You have to know your WHO before your DO. I like to illustrate the difference in this way, (I shared this recently with our Full Service Coaching Clients recently)
Think about knowing your WHO like knowing what kind of car you are. A Ferrari would be terrible at off-roading. It’s only about six inches off the ground and would get stuck constantly. A Jeep would lose every street race it was in. It’s slow and heavy, with tires designed for trails, not the track. But no one takes a Ferrari into the mud or a Jeep into a race because we know how they work best.
Knowing your who is being intentional about learning how you work best.
Knowing your who is being intentional about how you want to serve best.
Knowing your who is being intentional about where you want to be not just where you are now on the road to becoming, but never forgetting your core!
There are so many times I wish I had taken the time to know my WHO better. I think it would have saved me from a lot of comparison and insecurity. I probably would have spent a lot more time focusing on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. Less time on image.
When we do not know our intention, when we are not clear about what we want to be about, then we mould our image – we worry about being a social influencer rather than a successful intentional focuser
Alright so how do we tackle the hurdles of being intentional?
First, discover and discern your "product". Keep going back to what you want to be about – do not loose sight of it – do not be concerned about anything thing that does not fit it – if you are about chicken – be about chicken and anything you have on the side fits with chicken not with image - be intentional about collaborations, conduct, commitments, circle of influence
Second, develop a Rally Cry. A simple set of words that speak of you and what motivates you. For example our rally cry is #makeitso. We undertake work for our clients and help them #makeitso. Chik -fil - A ensures quality customer service - #thelittlethings. It all goes back to the Rally Cry.
Third, give things time – intentionality takes time. Sometimes people will tell me that their exercise program isn't working and I ask them how long they've been doing it. They say 10 days. Then I ask how long it took to gain the weight and they say 10 years. They gave the problem 10 years to develop and the solution only one week to work. Remember this: Never give the problem a year and the solution only one week.
Image is a splash. Intentionality is about focus, consistency and #thelittlethings that #makeitso
P.S. - The last few episodes of our podcast "You Can Make It So", may give you so more assistance in becoming intentional. Remember if we can help in any way - get in contact with us at Phoenix Life Coachng Canada