"Be the Change You Want to See in the World. Simply Lead."


By: Intern, Katrina Sharpe

Published: May 22, 2013

Chick-fil-A Leadercast is a one-day event that brings together renowned leaders to share their knowledge to inspire and teach audience members to better themselves as leaders in their community, work, and home.

CEO’s and public figures are not the only ones created to be leaders, we learned during the Chick-fil-A Leadercast conference that was held at The Arena at Gwinnett Center earlier this month.

The key speakers, along with countless volunteers and staff, created an environment that day for all attendees to be successful in their everyday lives. As leaders, they all created an environment that empowered the audience to become great leaders and to be successful with the knowledge they gained that day. 

What is the difference between learning to be a great leader and actually becoming one? Two things: what you know and what you do.

A petite 9-year-old boy named Caine and his friend/mentor Nirvan shared Caine’s story of how what you know and what you do can make a difference in the lives of many. This heart-warming story begins one summer when Caine spent his days with his father at the family’s used auto parts shop in East LA. He built his own arcade out of cardboard boxes and anything else he could find to use as parts for his arcade games.

A filmmaker, Nirvan, came across this arcade. He was Caine’s first and only customer. Caine informed him that $1 would buy him two plays, but if he spent $2 and bought a fun pass, well, that would buy him 500 plays. Nirvan of course bought the fun pass.  After Nirvan won his first game, Caine crawled inside the box and manually expelled the winning tickets from a cut-out hole. Touched, Nirvan decided to film a documentary about Caine’s arcade. He surprised Caine by inviting thousands of people to come out and play his arcade via a Facebook group. 

Caine and his father went out for lunch one day, and when they returned to the shop, Caine found a flood of people waiting to play his arcade. The biggest smiled crept upon his little face and out came a laugh of excitement and disbelief.  Nirvan was a leader that day. He put Caine in a position to be successful, and in turn, allowed Caine to learn to become a leader of his own and had been able to inspire children and people of all ages around the word. 

Caine knew what his gifts and talents were and he used them to create this arcade and this experience for his customers, which brings us to the next point from the conference: Focus on your strengths! Learn what your strengths and talents are and grow them. One of the underlying themes for the day was to multiply your strengths and delegate your weaknesses. There is little to no influence in your weaknesses, so developing your strengths will help you successfully lead.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski, better known as “Coach K,” who served as the head coach for the Duke Blue Devils and for the USA men’s national 2008 and 2010 teams gave other examples of successful leading. A big takeaway from his talk was don’t have rules, have standards. He reiterated rules can be restrictive while standards can empower. Standards help create that environment of success, which is the leader’s job to create. With standards, each person under them owns them; they are internal. Each team, however defined, agrees on a set of standards and holds their members accountable.

Do you feel inspired to be a leader yet? Are you still a little nervous to lead the people in your life because you think it may be too difficult? Well here’s some good news for you from the speakers at Chick-fil-A Leadercast: simplicity is better than complexity when it comes to leading.

You might be wondering exactly how simplicity is better than complexity when we live in a world that is so complex. To answer that question: complexity is the enemy of clarity. Dr. Henry Cloud said, “Great leaders lead people in ways that people’s brains can follow.” Makes sense, right? Leading in a complicated way won’t be as effective as leading simply. Once you understand what being a leader means and begin to show others what you’ve learned, you’re well on your way to becoming a great leader. 

Lastly, another word of advice from the conference: intentionally add value to people every day, whether it is your employees, coworkers, family, friends, etc. Adding value to them will increase your influence level in their lives to help them become better leaders and it shows them you care about them as an individual.

CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment Joel Manby said, “Leadership comes alive when you give it away.” Show people around you how they can be successful and how they can become great leaders by sharing what you have discovered. Be what you want to see in this world.

How do you become what you want to see in the world? Simply lead.