Chick-fil-A owner discusses 'The Heart of Leadership'

Shawn Hardy
Al Magill of Negley's Clean Water Center talks with fellow Liberty University graduate Randy Scott after Scott's presentation 'The Heart of Leadership' after the Feb. 15 Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce breakfast. SHAWN HARDY/ECHO PILOT

The Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce wanted to show a little love to its members in honor of Valentine's Day.

On Feb. 15, the chamber hosted a breakfast program with Randy Scott, owner and operator of Chick-fil-A in Hagerstown, who spoke on "The Heart of Leadership."

Scott had just returned from a conference of franchisees for the popular restaurant chain founded by S. Truett Cathy, who started out selling Coca-Cola for a nickel profit on a six pack. He had a passion for customer service, got into the restaurant business around World War II and open the first Chick-fil-A in an Atlanta Mall in 1967.

The corporate purpose is: "To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”

Scott mentioned stewardship often as he explained the five letters in "The Heart of Leadership."

H is Hunger for Wisdom, according to Scott, who talked about growing up in Maine, the only student in his grade some years and later attending Liberty University.

Leaders find wisdom in different ways, through school, books, classes and their employees look to them for wisdom.

"If you don't have anything to share, you're missing out, because people need you," Scott said.

E is for Expect the Very Best. Scott said he will formulate a worst-case scenario then look 100 steps beyond.

"You can look at a worst case scenario and still be optimistic," Scott said. "We have a huge opportunity when we're challenged."

A is for Accept Responsibility. In the last year, Scott's restaurant had two let two young men go for making mistakes.

He said he could have blamed the person who hired them, but as a leader, it was his responsibility to lay a path for them.

"Ultimately, their failure was my fault," Scott said.

R is for Respond Courageously.

"When we make decisions, they're not going to have impact for a minute, they are going to have an impact for a long time," Scott said.

He cautioned Facebook is not the place to respond courageously, and said a leader should care enough for a person to pull them aside and have a hard conversation.

"When you're faced with a challenge and don't know what's going to happen, what do you fall back on?" he asked. "Wouldn't it help you respond with courage if you really know your purpose?"

T is Think of Others First. This can't be faked, Scott said.

"You really have to think of others on the team," Scott said, adding, "If you do everything else right, the profits will take care of themselves."