Chick-fil-A and the Third Habit

“Welcome to our establishment! Thank you for coming in this evening! If you need anything, please let me know!” He said.

“Thank you!” We replied.

You can probably guess where this conversation took place. Of course…Chick-Fil-A.

You see, this Chick-Fil-A in Bradenton, Florida has a Hospitality Manager (I’m sure others do too, but we don’t go into the restaurant often…just the drive-thru). His job is to, well, be hospitable! He refills drinks. He cleans tables. He asks what he can do for the customers. He brings cheerios to hungry babies. And, he does all this, with a smile on his face! Why?

“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.” This is the establishment’s corporate purpose statement. In other words, this is the end for which Chick-Fil-A strives. In order to fulfill this end, employees smile. They say things like, “My pleasure!” They have instrumental Christian music playing. They have hospitality managers. And, they make delicious chicken!

This “living” of the defined end is the third habit of highly effective people, “put first things first.” Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, puts forth that the second habit, “begin with the end in mind” is all about leadership. It’s about vision. It’s about answering the question, “Where are we going?” This third habit is about management. It’s about doing things daily to ensure that the defined end will become a reality. It’s about answering the question, “How do we get there?”

Now, if Chick-Fil-A is to fulfill their corporate purpose, each department-sales, marketing, finance, etc.-must be thriving. It’s the same thing with individuals. Just as companies have departments, human beings have dimensions: the spiritual dimension, the social dimension, the intellectual dimension, and the physical dimension. In order to reach the end we have defined, each of our dimensions needs to be in good shape. This is how we “put first things first”.

Over the next several posts, we will be discussing how to “put first things first” effectively in each of these four dimensions. Stay tuned!

Have you had a positive experience at a dining establishment recently? Please comment below!

Works Cited

Covey, Stephen. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Salt Lake City, Franklin Covey, 2016.

“Who We Are”. Chick-Fil-A, 2018, https://www.chick-fil-a.com/About/Who-We-Are. Accessed 5 July 2018.

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