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Mark Miller started his Chick-fil-A career working as an hourly team member in 1977. Mark’s cell phone number is 678-612-8441. He asked that you text him your thoughts on this episode. In 1978, he joined the corporate staff working in the warehouse and mailroom. Since that time, he has provided leadership for Corporate Communications, Field Operations, Quality and Customer Satisfaction, Training and Development, and Leadership Development. During his tenure with Chick-fil-A, the company has grown from 75 restaurants to over 2,300 locations with annual sales approaching $10 billion. Mark began writing almost twenty years ago when he teamed up with Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager, to write The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do. He’s now written 11 books that have sold over 1 million copies. His latest is called Culture Rules


  • “Your capacity to grow determines your capacity to lead.”
    • You must make the choice to be a learner…
  • Let’s start with a story told by the late philosopher, David Foster Wallace. He said, “There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way who nods at them and says, “Morning boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”
  • Mark Miller conducted research with more than 6,000 individuals from ten countries that revealed that 71% of U.S. leaders believe culture is their most powerful tool to drive performance. However, the study revealed that enhancing workplace culture ranked eleventh on the leader’s priority list.
  • “If your heart is not right, no one cares about your skills.” Your character, integrity, and care for others must be there to earn any type of followership. If your heart is not right, no one cares about your skills.
  • The 3 culture rules are aspire, amplify, and adapt:
    • Aspire – Share your hopes and dreams for the culture (Andrew Cathy, new CEO, said “Rooted in purpose, known for our care.”)
    • Amplify – Always be looking for ways to reinforce and amplify the aspiration for your culture.
    • Adapt – Always look for ways to enhance your culture and be innovative.
  • The Magic Circle: It dates back to 1938 when Dutch Historian Johan Huizinga wrote about the impact of play on culture…
  • The “Must-Have” leadership qualities
    • Character
    • Competence
    • Chemistry
  • Mark has spent a lot of time with Navy SEALs to learn about culture… Key takeaways:
    • Shoot
    • Move
    • Communicate
  • Is focusing on culture a soft skill? The data suggests it is the #1 driver of performance.
  • Storytelling – People remember the stories more than the stats. Don’t just tell… Take people there.

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