Daring To Serve

by  Paula Kiger  |  Leadership Development
Daring To Serve

I spent an hour today participating in the Becoming A Dare to Serve Leader webinar with Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.

Cheryl presented the information in such a compelling way. I walked away feeling like I, too, could use the principles she discussed to make a difference in the world. 

Cheryl Bachelder has chosen to make a difference in the food service industry. The three core principles she espoused can apply in any industry.

It occurred to me that our Leading Voices, Instigators, and Lead Change Group Members have touched on these principles in many of their writings. Let’s take a peek.

Declare A Bold, Daring Destination

Cheryl stressed the idea that having a bold destination builds confidence. When she first assumed her role at Popeyes in 2007, things were not looking good. At least six major metrics, including sales, guest traffic, and profitability, were declining. She and her team decided to embark on a grand experiment. It’s not like there was much lower they could go at that point; there was nothing to lose by choosing boldness.

Lead Change Instigator Bill Benoist wrote in his Bold, Innovative Leadership article:

“This is what bold, innovative leaders do. They lead you to a better place.”

Choose To Serve Others Well

Cheryl’s decision to lead Popeyes in a direction of servant leadership was born early on in her tenure. The original focus group of leaders who she asked about what needed to change all answered that they wanted to be leaders different from them. Them is defined as the kinds of leaders who spread negativity, toxicity, and fear. Those first meetings led to a focus from Cheryl on leadership characterized by bravery and humility.

In her article entitled The More We Serve, Lead Change Instigator Sharon Reed echoed Cheryl’s concepts:

The more we seek ways in which to use our gifts for a greater good than just our own self-promotion, the more opportunity arises to share these gifts. In placing the needs of the whole above the self, we position ourselves as leaders; and through thoughtful leadership, we create openings for others to grow.

Perform & Deliver Results

Cheryl emphasizes that our results focus is not once a year, it is every day. She notes it is a daily battle to track and perform your results, but it is a worthy battle if you want to create an organization that serves people well and outperforms the rest.

Lead Change Instigator Sean Glaze values results/ It’s right there in his website’s name – Great Results Teambuilding. In his Smart Teams Focus on Incremental Improvements post, he stresses the importance of incremental improvement:

If you are interested in truly lasting team success, you will want to focus on incremental improvements over time instead of overwhelming and immediate change. Smart teams know that small changes, over time, provide great results.

I left my hour “with” Cheryl feeling optimistic that there are organizations out there who don’t abandon a caring attitude about their people in order to maximize profits. When you Dare to Serve, the two can co-exist fruitfully.

Now that you have had a taste of Cheryl’s approach as well as a glimpse into our Lead Change Instigators’ take, I am sharing the full webinar with you below. In addition, I am sharing a request from Cheryl.

She would like you to visit her website,, and share a story about a leadership lesson you’ve learned around these principles in the real world.

cheryl Bachelder Dare To Serve Leadership Story

Here’s the full recording of the webinar!

Have you been on a team headed to a daring destination? Tell us about it…

About The Author

Articles By paula-kiger
Paula believes her Twitter bio says it best: Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. She is a communications professional who provides writing, editing and social media services through Big Green Pen. She was the community manager for the Lead Change Group for two years. Paula has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Human Systems from Florida State University. She is an active advocate for many causes.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

John Smith  |  24 Mar 2015  |  Reply

Hi, Paula:

This is a very nicely done recap of Cheryl’s webinar. You have clearly stated the key messages and I appreciate having this to share with others to help them understand the valuable and positive message behind Dare-to-Serve Leadership.

Like you, I was renewed by listening to Cheryl’s story about how a large organization can practice effective leadership. Since I have lived through more examples of how it should NOT be done, this is a real shining example for us to keep in our hearts and minds as we go forward.


Paula Kiger (Admin)  |  24 Mar 2015  |  Reply

Thanks, John! I hope many others get an opportunity to hear this webinar (and continue learning from Cheryl’s example)

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