Reflections from Chick-fil-A and GiANT IMPACT

“We must motivate ourselves to do our very best, and by our example lead others to do their best as well.” ~ Truett Cathy

I can’t believe it has been over a month since my last blog post. It is time to get back in the weekly writing groove! For the past 6 weeks I had devoted my time to planning #edcampsiouxcity with @lovedrummin. Now that the successful event is in the books, more time can be devoted to blogging! I am always amazed at the traffic my blog gets even when I am away from it. Thanks to all that have stopped by!

I recently returned from an amazing experience in Atlanta, Georgia. I attended the Chick-fil-A Leadercast Retreat. A representative from each Leadercast host site was invited to Atlanta for a few days. The networking and learning from each other, Chick-fil-A and Giant IMPACT was inspiring. It was great to meet a member of my Twitter PLN (@mikehenrysr) and add others.

An area organization I am involved with, Leadership Siouxland, will host the Chick-fil-A Leadercast for the 3rd time on Friday, May 4, 2012. I encourage you to find a location in your area for this event. Chick-fil-A® Leadercast® is a one-day leadership event broadcast LIVE from Atlanta, GA to hundreds of locations around the world. You won’t be disappointed! This year’s line up is amazing – once again!

The entire trip was a dream. I will be reflecting on the learning for quite some time. To begin here are a few initial thoughts after the opportunity to tour the Chick-fil-A Headquarters in Atlanta.

Reflections (Part 1):

  • Treat employees with respect. Chick-fil-A does an amazing job of this. The Chick-fil-A Headquarters were aesthetically beautiful while catering to the whole-person. Human physical and spiritual needs are cared for adding to each individuals’ quality of life.
    • Schools may not be able to afford to offer their employees the benefits Chick-fil-A employees receive (meals, fitness center, child care), but we can make sure we are still focusing on the whole-person not only with employees, but students and families as well. There are always little things that we can do to brighten each others’ days. What are some of your favorite ways to treat employees/colleagues with respect and let them know they matter?
  • Treat guest like kings and queens! Every detail of our retreat was planned and extremely well-organized make for a memorable trip. We were treated to great food and lots of surprises. Highlights included tours of Chick-fil-A Headquarters and Turner Field, Home of the Atlanta Braves. An added bonus was learning from Javier Lopez and Brian Jordan, former Atlanta Braves Players. As an educator I was most impressed with learning of Brian Jordan’s children’s books and foundation efforts which can be found on his website.
    • Schools have “guests” daily – students, parents, volunteers, and other visitors to name a few. Schools are busy places. How do you ensure that each and every guest feels like a king or queen? Do they leave the school campus with thoughts of a positive, memorable experience?
  • Tune into the needs of each individual. I witnessed first hand the compassion of the GiANT IMPACT crew. Unfortunately I lost a valuable item while attending the retreat. After I noticed it missing I carefully started backtracking my steps. It was nowhere to be found and I knew it was probably back at the Chick-fil-A Headquarters. I contacted one of the GiANT IMPACT Leadership Concierges. In the mean time, the item was found – yet due to the unfamiliarity of the item (a hearing aid volume remote) no one had any idea what it was. The crew was quickly emailing each other back and forth trying to determine how to get it back to its owner, I am told, in the mist of all their end of the retreat duties. The email was intercepted by the Leadership Concierge I had contacted in the first place and the pieces fell together. My remote is in the mail, saving me hundreds of dollars. I have lost items before, but have never experienced this type of rally of support! During those few moments I knew all attention was on my needs.
    • How can school ensure this level of caring for the needs of all they encounter? Have you witnessed someone going out of their way to tune into an individuals needs? 
  • Every life has a story. One thing was certain, the tissues in my coat pocket came in handy. We had the opportunity to view videos that spoke to the heart. One showed an idea sweeping Chick-fil-A restaurants called “Daddy Daughter Date Night.” A search on You Tube will reveal several touching examples. My mind raced with all the possibilities of similar events that could be held at a school! The most powerful video was “Every life has a story.” View, be touched, and reflect! The video reminded me of the start Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. (Part 1 Paradigms and Principles) With paradigm shifts we see everything differently. We understand people and events from their perspective.

This only touches the surface of my reflections. I’m currently reading Leadership is Dead by Jeremie Kubieck, President and CEO of GiANT IMPACT. He facilitated much of our day on Friday. More to come as I process my thoughts. Until then I will continue to remember: Every person has a story. Their needs should be the focus of our encounter. They should be treated with respect, in fact the should be treat like royalty!

“Nearly every moment of every day we have the opportunity to give something to someone else – our time, our love, our resources. I have always found more joy in giving when I did not expect anything in return.”

– Truett Cathy

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing. I would also love to hear your thoughts!



  • Michael Williams 21 Nov

    Great reflections! I am sorry I missed you on the retreat, but am so glad you had such a great time! Thanks for being a leader in your community!

    -Michael Williams
    Executive Director, Chick-fil-A Leadercast

    • Kathy Perret 21 Nov

      Thank YOU for the wonderful opportunity! It was an amazing experience. I appreciate everything that Chick-fil-A and GiANT IMPACT did to provide the host sites with valuable learning and networking! I know our 3rd Chick-fil-A Leadercast in our area will be even bigger and better!

      ~ Kathy

  • Chad Wilkins 21 Nov


    Thank you for this reflection! You did a fabulous job and I enjoyed reading your blog. Have a great day!


    • Kathy Perret 21 Nov

      Thanks, Chad. So much more to reflect on. Reading Jeremie Kubicek’s book no doubt will spark additional reflections from Friday’s content! Enjoyed meeting with our board today and moving forward with our planning for Leadercast 2012!


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