Have you ever heard the statistic 9 out of 10 new business fail within the first five years?
Many people have mentioned this or a similar statistic to me, often in reference to restaurants in my hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, that seemed to open and go out of business every other day.
When I heard about how Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeye’s chicken and veteran restaurant industry leader, was able to bring back Popeye’s declining brand – increasing sales by 25% and profits by 40% within 7 years of her appointment as CEO – I was amazed.
Taking a small, local restaurant and trying to re-vamp it: difficult. Taking a large, national chain that had decreased in popularity for various reasons over a number of years and once again winning customers’ loyalty: extremely difficult.
Despite the odds, Cheryl and her team have triumphed in doing just that by focusing on people in order to create a workplace of respect and dignity that still challenged employees to perform at the highest level.
In her latest book, Dare To Serve, Cheryl takes you first-hand through the transformation of Popeye’s and asserts how leaders at all levels can become dare to serve leaders. In addition to reading the book, you can visit Cheryl’s website where she has generously offered some extremely practical and applicable free resources. It is seriously worth your time-check it out.
Journey To Personal Purpose Self-Assessment
Ok, who isn’t a sucker for self-evaluation? I love it all—personality tests, strength/weakness indicators, and the whole she-bang. In this comprehensive resource, Cheryl covers all the bases in self-assessment with the core question being, “Do you know why you lead?”
This question is surprisingly often overlooked, as many leaders end up in their position simply as a result of being promoted. I think it’s really important to look at leadership as not just another step up the career ladder, but a opportunity to give back using your own unique set of skills.
The assessment goes on to take you through the journey of analyzing your lifeline – the major events in your life that led you to where you are today – exploring the values that have been integrated into your reality as a result of those life experiences, your strengths, and your purpose.
Once you have clarified those key foundational aspects of yourself, the assessment guides you towards understanding an approach to your leadership that integrates all the best elements of who you are and what your experience is. This is an extremely thorough and thought-provoking exercise that is designed to help you get to know yourself in a deep and impactful way.
Dare To Serve Discussion Guide
This discussion guide requires some commitment of time and energy (there is also available in a faith-based version). It is designed to serve as a resource over eight weeks of small-group meetings in which participants meet for 2-hours each session, getting to know each other, watching and discussing the Dare to Serve videos, making commitments to taking new steps in leadership, and asking for accountability from others.
I would love to get a group together to explore how this thorough resource could help us all challenge the way we look at our leadership. I also really appreciate the accountability section of this guide. Often, it seems like leaders are so focused on holding others accountable and analyzing the work of their teams that they forget to also hold themselves accountable. Having accountability partners seems like a great way to help each leader reach his or her potential.
The 40-Week Leadership Challenge
This resource is simple. All you do is sign up for a weekly email in which Cheryl guides you to become a Dare To Serve Leader. I love how this resource engages you for long enough to actually see results. Emails include a weekly question, inspirational stories, and tips of how to put your learning into practice. I would say this is the simplest of all the resources, as it doesn’t require any significant time commitment, but still offers deep insights into Cheryl’s practical leadership philosophy.
I am so impressed that Cheryl is offering such amazing resources as a free gift. This only further impresses upon me how important is that leaders make service one of their primary focuses. I hope to take these resources and incorporate them into my own work as a virtual manager.
Oh, and check out the Popeye’s website. I love how it features milestones in the company’s growth – something worth being proud of.