Podcast Episode 80 – Remarkable Leadership to Transform Your Culture – David Salyers
Episode 80 -David Salyers was one of the original two marketing executives at Chick-fil-A. He spent 37 years in the Chick-fil-A Marketing Department and most recently served as a Vice President before his recent retirement. Having worked at Chick-fil-A his entire career, he saw the principles of servant leadership and compassion play out in the growth of more than 2,300 Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country. Chick-fil-A, one of America’s most successful, powerful and beloved brands, is a multi-billion dollar company built almost entirely on culture. Chick-fil-A has experienced over 50 consecutive years of sales growth and is at, or near, the top rankings of U.S. brands across all sectors. David has invested his entire career working in and helping to build a culture only to be described as remarkable. His 2016 book, Remarkable, imparts leadership lessons that can transform one’s workplace culture.
Today, he’s going to show us how to use Chick-Fil-A’s competitive advantage to create a better business and transform our company culture.
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Meet David Salyers!
David Salyers was one of the original two marketing executives at Chick-fil-A. He went on to spend 37 years in the Chick-fil-A Marketing Department, most recently as a Vice President, before his retirement. Having worked at Chick-fil-A his entire career, he saw the principles of servant leadership and creating remarkable customer experiences play out in the growth of more than 2,300 Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country. Today, this multi-billion dollar company is recognized as one of America’s most successful, powerful and beloved brands.
During his time at Chick-fil-A, David was instrumental in the growth and development of the iconic ‘cow campaign’ and helped champion a marketing department that rose to international prominence and prestige. David is known for his marketing mind, his servant’s heart, and his entrepreneurial spirit.
Connect to David Salyers
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Remarkable Leadership To Transform Your Culture
2021, Brent Lacey And The Scope Of Practice Podcast
The Scope of Practice Podcast
[0:00] One of my all-time favorite marketing campaigns is the Chick-fil-A cows you’ve probably seen their Billboards and other advertisements saying eat more chicken
you know I remember when those advertisements came out when I was in high school they were some of the funniest advertising campaigns I’ve ever seen and they’ve continued to be funny for the last 20-plus years.
[0:19] Chick-fil-A is by far the most successful fast food restaurant business on a store to store comparison in if you’ve ever been to Chick-fil-A it feels different from going to McDonald’s or Burger King.
You can debate whether the food is really better and certainly I have my opinions on that but it’s certainly true that the experience is just better.
And it’s consistent from store to store it’s just a better experience that’s Chick-fil-A’s competitive Advantage it’s a better experience than its competitors.
That’s why I’m so excited about today’s guest he’s a Chick-fil-A Insider and he’s going to walk us through how the Chick-fil-A competitive Advantage can translate to health care and help you create a better business as a.
Let’s kick it this looks so good.
[1:07] Welcome to the scope of practice podcast where we help busy Healthcare professionals learn to manage their businesses successfully in master their personal finances,
now here’s your host dr. Brent Lacey.
[1:20] Hey y’all thanks so much for joining me for the scope of practice podcast where you can get the knowledge and resources you need to grow your leadership skills your business and your personal finances.
Welcome to episode 8.
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[1:45] Hey before we get into the show I want to say a quick thank you to all of our podcast listeners the podcast is celebrating a huge milestone 50,000 downloads.
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I’ll look forward to announcing the hundred thousand download Mark hopefully sometime next year with your support thank you so much.
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[4:24] My guest today is David Salyers I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this interview.
David was one of the original to Marketing Executives at Chick-fil-A.
He spent 37 years in the Chick-fil-A marketing department and most recently served as a vice president before his recent retirement.
Having worked at Chick-fil-A his entire career he saw the principles of servant leadership and compassion play out in the growth of more than 2300 Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country.
Chick-fil-A one of America’s most successful powerful and beloved Brands is a multi-billion dollar company built almost entirely on culture.
Chick-fil-A has experienced over 50 consecutive years of sales growth and is at or near the top rankings of us Brands across all sectors.
David has invested his entire career working in and helping to build a culture only to be described as remarkable.
[5:17] His 2016 book by the same name remarkable imparts Leadership Lessons that can transform one’s workplace culture.
Today he’s going to show us how to use Chick-fil-A’s competitive advantage to create a Better Business and transform our company’s culture.
This might be my favorite interview this year so far you’re going to love it so here is my conversation with David Salyers.
[5:41] Hey y’all thanks so much for joining me to welcome my guests this week
David Salyers is the former VP of marketing for the Chick-fil-A organization now the founder of Rome and many many other great Ventures we were just talking about
and the author of the book remarkable which is definitely now on my recommended reading list for leaders to David thank you so much for joining us here today.
[6:10] Hey Brett is pure joy to be with you no doubt about it yeah that is absolutely great Chick-fil-A stuff I love the only thing that was my pleasure.
That comes at the end listen before we get started I just need to say a personal thank you from me.
Listening to another interview that you had I forget which podcast it was on you had mentioned on that show that
you were on the original team that started the Chick-fil-A cow.
Advertisements and all that and I will I would just like to say a personal thank you from the bottom of my heart because I had that has been a.
A bit of joy for me for a very long time I’m not a johnny-come-lately I remember when the cows started remember the very first eat more chicken billboard that came out and I was like oh my gosh that’s the funniest thing I had the very first time
like our calendar so thank you for bringing that joy into my life it was pure joy to work on and
a real team effort for sure yeah and you know the best Venture is always all right I mean you know that’s what we’re going to talk about today if you want to have a culture if you want to have a team or an organization that is truly remarkable as you talk about in your book
it has to be a team effort because if it’s just you you’re only going to move it to you you can’t move at the speed multiply genius and everybody in the group.
[7:33] Yeah I think most entrepreneurs think in terms of scalability Leverage ability and I think of Leverage is disproportionate output.
For the same amount of input,
and the great entrepreneurs that I know are always looking for leverage in all that they do and that’s a lot of the story of Chick-fil-A really is the way Truett Cathy the founder of Chick-fil-A structured it allowed him to leverage himself.
Through other people and through the organization and to your point get a lot more done than he could ever possibly do himself absolutely now,
from listening to your other interviews that I’ve heard on some other shows that’s exactly what I was expecting you to say was was something like that but I know that that’s not really how you started.
When you first started working at Chick-fil-A and I can only imagine what it must have been like to really come up through the ranks of Chick-fil-A before cuz.
Really this National brand in this cultural revolution that it has become but when you were first starting with them I mean,
you talked about before that it was it was really focused more about making enough money to Just Tire early and just kind of move on so what do you think caused that mindset.
[8:48] Yeah well the it probably would help your audience for me to give just a little bit of background on that.
I met Truett Cathy the founder of Chick-fil-A when I was a junior in college through a mutual friend of ours and I got recruited out of college.
And I literally ran a started with Chick-fil-A for hours after college graduation I graduated on Saturday morning I started with Chick-fil-A 4 hours later it was nothing like
the Chick-fil-A you know of today in fact the entire headquarters was in a very small converted air freight warehouse.
[9:22] Over by the old Atlanta airport 801 Virginia Avenue you know I still remember the address to this day but it’s very small it was a tin roof 10 walls.
It was so small actually they’d run out of room.
So they cut a hole through the wall pulled up a mobile home and my first office was in a mobile home attached to an air freight warehouse that was the Chick-fil-A that I signed up for
you know it wasn’t a start-up in all fairness but it was closed as a whole lot closer to a startup than a billion dollar business and and you know we really struggled in the early days but here was the kind of aha moment for me
if you had met me as a 21 year old kid on that college campus and ask me David what’s the most remarkable future you can think of I was crystal clear
I thought I want to make as much money as I can
as fast as I can to retire as early as I can that was my plan you know make as much money as I can fast I can retire as early as I can and I kind of set a goal of 35,
and I kind of thought that’s the purpose of a career that’s the purpose of business you know that’s the whole goal of life is to be able to retire early and enjoy life and what was interesting is by getting under the leadership,
I’ve Truett Cathy by getting into the Chick-fil-A organization I discovered something that you know nowadays I would say is a thousand times better than early retirement something is a 21 year old I’m not sure I would have even believed existed.
[10:51] Or would it believe what I’m about to say had I not seen it play out in front of my very eyes instead of finding the job I could retire from early.
I found what I would Now call the job I wouldn’t want to retire from.
[11:04] See that thought has never crossed my mind that there could be a job you wouldn’t want to retire or even should be a job you wouldn’t want her time and my mind and culturally I’ve been taught to think the whole point of work is to stop doing work
but what I found in true Kathy is a guy who saw it very differently he said if you love what you do you’ll never work another day in your life.
[11:27] So I feel like I spent 37 years at Chick-fil-A never worked a day in my life and got paid anyway which is a pretty good Gig if you can get it and the other thing that was magic about it was if you’ve got a hole,
company of people who have the job they wouldn’t want to retire from Imagine the customer experience you’re going to have.
[11:46] When that’s the people you encounter and imagine the level of commitment the level of passion the love of Excellence you know all these things kind of come together
when you’ve got a bunch of people who see work not as an opportunity to retire from,
but it’s something to be enjoyed something that’s rewarding something that’s fulfilling something is satisfying you know that that’s an important part of their life and adds a lot of joy to their life
because what I found is that whatever we’re doing is contagious to others and if everyone behind the counter loves what they do,
the people on the other side of the counter are going to fill that and they’ll get caught up in that,
the other thing that I learned along the way I spent my entire career at Chick-fil-A essentially in the world of marketing and advertising branding and I realized.
That what most companies want they want this strong brand you know there’s a lot of talk about I want to build a brand I want to have this great brand Etc into great gold
but they always think in terms of what they’ll do with the customers to achieve that I think we’re a lot of people miss it
is that culture is really the first building block of a great brand I like to think I’ve never seen a great brand come out of a terrible culture.
[12:59] You know it’s like culture is this is the foundational.
Aspect to a great brand and the other thing I’ve learned is that that customers will never be more excited and passionate about your business then your own employees are.
[13:14] So if you want to raise the level of excitement passion engagement of your customers
it starts with raising the level of passion excitement engagement of your own employees and that kind of sets the lid on the level to which customers.
Will be excited about your business so that’s where a lot of people miss it they jump right past their own employees they want to give customers a great experience but they’re never gonna be able to do it if they miss that step of creating the environment for their own employees.
That will then be contagious to the customers well I love the idea of having a job that you never want to retire from not that we should work until we just you know drop dead 95 or anything but
but man if you love your job that much and it’s something you can’t imagine retiring from what a great way to be it’s funny I say that to people a lot I love what I do I’m still one of those guys that I genuinely enjoy going to work I work,
crazy hours and I still love
going to work I love getting to do my procedures to help my patients I love getting to see people in clinic and talk to people we’ve got I mean the oldest physician in my group is seventies turning 70 this month.
And I have never heard him talk about retirement at seven like.
I want to be anywhere but here I miss my patients I’ve missed what I do work that matters and I work with the best people in the world why would I want to leave that.
[14:37] I don’t have a good answer for that I have I don’t have a good comeback to that well here’s I tell you I had a number of conversations with true it became almost like a second father in my life in a lot of ways you know when I first started the,
the entire staff was just a handful of people and
we used to go on vacation with him and his family I remember going to Cancun Mexico with him and his family went snowmobiling you know it was a really small organization and
and true it was a lot like a second father in my life so I learned a lot from watching the way he lived life watching what he did.
But I remember going into his office much like you were just on my Brent when he was in his 80s and it’s a true it,
what are you still doing here man your 401k is fully funded you know like why are you still working why do you still come to the office and he would always he would always tell me
you know ask you know why are you doing it he say well he said why would I stop doing something I love this much.
Why would I stop doing something I love and and so it really does go down to the you really love what you do and what’s fascinating to me Brent we can dig into this little more is where’s the most unlikely place that people would love what they do.
[15:42] You know I think a fast food as a category.
As you know that’s kind of the industry of Last Resort for a lot of people that say if I can’t do anything else in life I can always flip burgers for a living,
you know it’s kind of like it’s not exactly fast food is not being a doctor it’s not this sexy you know curing cancer kind of thing it’s just serving fast food and yet Chick-fil-A has been able to take kind of the least of these industries.
[16:08] And made it an industry that people love working for and so what’s encouraging about that
for me for your audience and for other people if a fast food place can be a place that people wouldn’t want to retire working from I think anybody’s got a shot at it we’ve got an advantage in that sense that we’re doing like you said we’re doing work that’s.
[16:28] Really important not the food and keeping people well fed as an important but I mean we’ve deal with legitimate life and death decisions and that’s a.
Just a great opportunity to get to interact with people to intersect with their lives to really really be there for them at some of the toughest moments and I think that you’re right I think Chick-fil-A has done a really good job of that over the last few decades and the.
The competitive advantage that Chick-fil-A has isn’t the food although.
Let’s be real it’s it is a superior chicken sandwich it just is I mean I’m not this is not an advertisement respectfully I feel like I’m just an Enthusiast but it’s but it’s the service it’s the it’s the place that you go it’s
it’s the experience it’s my pleasure it’s comfortable it’s clean its friendly its
people smile because they genuinely care about you it’s great and the thing that’s impressive about that is that you guys have managed to build that.
Empire if you will and yet not have the culture be diluted over time so when people think about going someplace to eat.
Going to someplace like say McDonald’s or Burger King is just sort of
an opportunity you know it’s a choice of convenience it’s choice of opportunity but people will go out of their way they’ll pass six other fast food places to go to Chick-fil-A and it’s not because the chicken is that much better.
and I know that that’s not an accident that was very intentional I mean I’ve read books by by true at I’ve obviously read your book and that was done very intentionally
so can you kind of talk about how that started from I Can Only Imagine by the way I mean when you talk about not despising humble beginning
trailer followed by a tear-free warehouse with a hole cut Marilyn doesn’t get much more humble than that we talked about how you guys started from that very humble place and hey all you infuse that culture into what
has become Chick-fil-A today.
[18:19] Yeah well I think it goes back to a decision that true it made early on in the business you know we talked earlier about the fact that real entrepreneurs are always looking for leverage and
early on with Chick-fil-A was started a lot of fast food locations were just being started Brent people like McDonald’s and Burger King and KFC they’re all starting about the same time
but there’s a line in the book that I love it’s how we view things drives how we do things how we see something
has a dramatic impact on the way we respond to it organized around it what we do with it and I think true it saw what he was doing very differently than most of the other fast food places.
Because with the way the other fast food places set themselves up is they wanted to leverage other people’s money,
you know you probably heard of opium other people’s money so their first criteria for their next franchisee was who could they find that had the money.
[19:18] To buy the land build the building you know pave the parking lot stock the shelves etc etc so their first question when looking for their next franchisee
was to leverage that person’s money
and that was very common and so almost all of the people we compete against that was their first that was their starting point find people with the money but what Truett decided to do was almost the polar opposite of that.
He said to himself you know what relatively speaking money is the easy part banks have stacks of it you know money is not the hard part to find what I want to do is Leverage.
[19:51] Leverage passion leverage people’s servant leadership so he said I’m going to start with a person not the money I’ll provide the money.
[20:00] I need the leadership,
and so it’s interesting to me if a lot of our competitors first question was do you have two or three million dollars to go out and start this business you know what Chick-fil-A’s first question where we’re looking
for our next franchisee historically was
what’s up what I want my kids working for this person that’s the very first question what I want my kids working for this person,
because that one question answers a thousand other questions are they going to create a business that we would want our kids to work in.
And if you kind of play that out a few levels it’s amazing the importance of that question,
well another context piece it’s important for you to understand in most Chick-fil-A’s 70% are so of the workforce are teenagers
for a lot of them it’s their first job and so we’re having a chance to mold and shape the Next Generation we’re molding and shaping the way people see work the way people develop their work ethic
you know the way they develop their leadership skills etc etc and so we’re molding and shaping a whole generation of people
through our platform of business but for our operators,
they’re creating a place they want their own kids working in which is why so many other parents want their kids working there but here was kind of a seminal moment that might really sum it up for you I visited over time Brent probably.
[21:21] Fifteen to Seventeen hundred different operators over the course of my career Chick-fil-A.
[21:26] And I love to visit our operas they’re not only some of the greatest business people I know there’s some of the greatest human beings that I know and I would always love to start with this question.
[21:36] I asked Brent if you were our Chuck what business are you in.
What business are you in because how we view things drives how we do things and the fascinating thing after asking all those hundreds of operators that question not once did I get the most obvious answer the most obvious answer would have been I’m in the fast food business
I sell chicken sandwiches for a living or I sell chicken sandwiches fries and drink for a living that’d be the obvious answer to that question
but I never got that answer because they all had a bigger picture.
View of what they were doing but my favorite answer I ever got came from an operator in Virginia and that operator told me this he said David,
I feel like I’m a leadership development Academy masquerading as a fast food restaurant a leadership development Academy masquerading as a fast food restaurant
so play that out for just a minute he didn’t see what he was doing is selling chicken sandwiches fries and drinks
what he had was a Leadership Academy and chicken sandwiches fries and drinks where his funding mechanism for his Leadership Academy.
[22:38] And all these young people that were coming into his restaurant those were the product that he was serving the community and his mind more than the food was
because he viewed his platform as a leadership development incubator so to speak and he was going to take in all these young people,
help them develop a good work ethic good values good character
you know good servant leadership all those things kind of plant those in their lives in early age so they can reap the Harvest of all that down the road and he felt like his real Legacy was not going to be chicken sandwiches fries and drinks it’s all these amazing young people that he helped groom and send out,
to make a mark on this world that’s the way he viewed his business,
but then think about the in the implications of that if you’re a sixteen-year-old and you can enroll in the leadership development Academy or go to work for a typical fast-food restaurant that’s a pretty easy choice in it yeah absolutely.
Think about as a parent where would you want your sixteen-year-old go I was not even a close call,
it’s not close call I know when I was a kid when I was a kid you know I had the opportunity to go work at variety of different places but the the places that,
I felt like we’re the most valuable to me weren’t the places that you go in you get a paycheck for doing whatever the job is it was the where I felt like I was able to.
[23:55] Make a difference for making impact really important people as part of us
refereeing soccer games for our City Soccer Organization or it was when I was on staff at Boy Scout camp I mean those were the worst paying jobs and those were the ones that have the highest impact and the most meaning to me in the most meaning to people.
So take it one level further but think about this if you’re a customer walking into a typical fast-food restaurant that just sees their employees,
as minimum wage workers and they’re trying to maximize their profitability and send them home early if that you know makes a more profitable you know that’s kind of the culture environment.
And then the picture walking into the leadership development Academy.
Where you’ve got the kids and have the work ethic you were talking about who see this as an opportunity to learn and grow and be around other people who want to learn and grow and make a difference in people’s lives you know it’s almost not fair
you know those two experiences are so different and it goes back to what you were saying a few minutes ago you felt like yeah Chick-fil-A the food is pretty good but it’s so much more than that,
well there’s so much more than that,
it really starts with the operator and their view of what they do and it’s so different than just selling chicken sandwiches fries and drinks you know what they want to do is they want to make an impact on the world and they’re using their platform of business to do that,
and so they have such a higher view of what they’re doing.
[25:19] That the experience the customer has is just a whole nother level but it all goes back to that operator and their view of what they do.
And then that gets reflected in the leadership team they surround themselves with it gets reflected in the teenagers and the team members that go to work there and then the other thing we always used to talk about is however people are treated behind the counter.
Is the way that people are going to be treated over the counter so if you go into a business and there’s a employee that doesn’t treat you very well
that may be a reflection of the way they’re being treated you know because again it kind of Cascades starting with the leadership.
To the team members and then over the counter and so if the employees are having a good time the customers are going to have a good time if they employees you know want to make a difference in the lives of people the people coming into the business are going to feel that
and success begets success.
[26:13] If all these teenagers are having a good time guess what they’re telling their other friends they where they need to work you know all of a sudden you become a magnet that attracts the kind of talent.
That you deserve so to speak attitude definitely reflects leadership I think we see that over and over and almost anytime that I’m talking to somebody or coaching somebody
almost anytime that there’s some kind of toxicity in the organization there’s almost always a breakdown in leadership somewhere it’s someone who doesn’t really
you know instill those cultural values or they don’t live those cultural values or there aren’t any cultural values is just an aimless wandering ship.
[26:50] And that some of the that’s some of the stuff that you talked about in your book remarkable like the concept of value-driven leadership for example which I just love and one of the things you talked about is the idea of going from
a get rich attitude to a be rich.
And that’s much much more in a semantic difference and I know this is a huge Topic in the book but I would love for you to coach us on that a little bit so what does that mean to go from that get rich attitude to a Bee Ridge approach.
Yeah well it’s a super important aspect and how we view things drives how we do things like we’re just talking about but here’s the way I would articulate most businesses that I’m aware of Brent started is what I would call a get-rich scheme.
Somebody starts a business because they want to get rich,
and if they start their business as they get rich scheme that’s the way they view it so that’s the way they’ll do it and the problem with that idea is if they’re going to get rich they’re going to get rich at the expense of someone right.
And typically they’re going to get rich at the expense of their employees they’re going to get rich at the expense of their customers
they’re going to get rich at the expense of their suppliers they’re going to get it rich at the expense of the communities they serve so it’s all about kind of a self enrichment
proposition where I’m going to enrich my life at the expense of other people so it plays out as a win-lose proposition.
[28:08] I want to win and my employees lose my customers lose my suppliers lose is the supplier is really where it shows up that’s almost always this win-lose negotiation on both sides and then the community loses as a result
but business is a be rich scheme is the polar opposite of business as a get-rich scheme
people who see business as a platform to be rich toward people.
Not get rich from them so how can I be rich toward my employees through my business how can I be rich toward my customers,
through my business how can I be rich toward oddly enough my suppliers.
[28:48] Through my business and how can I be rich toward the community that I serve and here’s what I’ve learned through experience,
if you use your business as a platform to be rich getting rich will never be your problem but it doesn’t necessarily work the other way around and so I give you an actual example you know Chick-fil-A competes
Brent and one of the most ferocious Industries imaginable.
There are about 200 chains and fast-food last year the average fast food restaurant in terms of Revenue annual revenue
individual restaurant was somewhere in the $700,000 in let’s talk about 2019 you know let’s get Beyond covid because covid-19 hold it so in 2019 about $700,000
business is what fast food is McDonald’s arguably
not only the golden arches but they’re the gold standard of the business McDonald’s in 2019 on average did somewhere around 2.6 2.7 million per restaurant
more than three times the average that is awful good you know really really good McDonald’s is somebody that Chick-fil-A has a lot of respect and admiration for they have always been the gold standard in the industry,
now Chick-fil-A is closed 52 more days.
Then any of those other hundred 99 top competitors you know what would you guess in 2019.
[30:09] The average Chick-fil-A restaurant did in a seven hundred thousand dollar business where McDonald’s the gold standard did like 2.6 million.
Chick-fil-A is closed 52 more of the best days to be open in that industry what do you think the average Chick-fil-A did 2019 well I’m going to guess it’s more or less a 3.7 million.
[30:29] How about 7 million 10 times the average
in 52 less days and I think all that goes back to seeing business as a be rich scheme because when you sit what your employees,
I feel like you’re using your business to be rich toward them they’re going to work harder and they’re going to be more enthusiastic and they’re going to have more of a sense of ownership of the business,
and a sense of enjoyment of the business customers are going to pick up on that when they come in as you mentioned before suppliers are going to say you’re my favorite
customer and when you need something you’re going to move to the top of the list etc etc and communities literally Brent there are communities
that right Chick-fil-A they start Facebook pages you know begging Chick-fil-A to come to their Community because I know if Chick-fil-A comes their communities going to get better.
And so I think it’s all about how do we build a business that sees it as an opportunity not to get rich from people,
but to be rich toward people and the way the world works in the way I think things are arranged in the world if you’ll be restored him,
getting rich will be the fruit not the object of what you do it’ll be the fruit of you doing it well.
[31:38] And this is a real problem or a real concern that I have for a lot of medical practices.
I mean as a general rule Physicians are fairly well compensated especially if you consider you know compare us to say and in average teacher salary let’s say or you know something like that and so there’s a real
you sure when there’s a lot of opportunity to make a good amount of money for us to slide into that get rich mindset especially as Physicians because we are way behind the eight ball
they compared to all of our classmates and people that we graduated high school with let’s say is I went to school for 14 years after high school in order to do what I do and.
[32:20] I didn’t start off with a lot of debt because I went into the military and so but for folks who are going through say 15 years worth of training and they’re coming out three hundred thousand dollars in the hole
man money is really Weighing on their minds and so it’s an important thing to consider because you got to.
Feed your family and you got to take care of your wealth and that’s in your personal finances and that sort of thing but it is a real danger and I really see this happening in a lot of physician practices but more often I see this in big businesses big.
Corporate Health Care entities I think to a certain extent we lose.
What is ideal and what is maybe the what should be the standard for for medicine so how do we as Physicians or how do we as Healthcare professionals start.
Spark some of that change if we’re in an organization that has a get rich mindset at me is it just enough to start modeling it or is there a concrete action and we should be taking to
start sparking that change.
Well I do think it goes back to how you view what you do and it starts with a mission mindset think about the operators just telling you you know who.
They didn’t view themselves as showing up every day to sling chicken sandwiches over the counter if they were they probably would be looking to retire early.
[33:35] You know it’s almost like going back to what you were just saying the ones who want to retire early are victims of a get-rich scheme.
[33:43] You know and the only way out of this that the misery that they’re experiencing work is to stop doing it and they need to make enough money to stop doing it but contrast that with a guy like Truett Cathy or you mentioned yourself.
Who enjoys what they do,
and think about the difference if everyday you’re showing up to a job you enjoy doing you don’t want to retire from it I can almost guarantee you’re going to make more money then the person who shows up every day and can’t wait to stop doing what they’re doing because that becomes contagious.
To the employees to the customers Etc you know as a patient which doctor do I want to go to.
The doctor never wants to retire because they love what they do I’m going to feel that when I’m visiting with that doctor and and they’re motivated by the mission more than the money.
You know as a 21 year old kid I was guilty of this think about what I just told you when I told you my story was I want to make as much money as I can as fast as I can to retire as early as I can that is a get rich mindset,
I started with a get rich mindset
and then I was exposed to a be rich mindset and I realized how much better that be rich mindset was and how much more enjoyable and you know in the guy that I work for Truett Cathy at age 92.
He was still working not because he had to he was the sole owner of a multibillion-dollar business but he loved it and here’s what’s interesting at age 92 he died at 93 at age 92 you know what he was doing.
[35:08] Creating his newest restaurant.
It’s called truitt’s luau there’s this but he was just he loved it but I think the fundamental issue is.
[35:20] Do we see this as a mission that we’re on and we’re excited about you mentioned in the military and all do we see it as a mission or do we see it as just a paycheck.
That were collecting you know I love to use this illustration it’s in the book that you were talking about but this may help some people let’s say Brett that.
We’re in south Georgia in the middle of summer like we are now middle of August and it’s 98 degrees outside and extremely humid.
In south Georgia and Brett I need you to fill sandbags,
for me for 10 bucks an hour I’m going to pay you ten bucks an hour or nowadays I guess 15 bucks an hour I’m going to pay you 15 bucks an hour to go fill sandbags in the middle of the Georgia
humid summer in the hot sun how excited are you about filling sandbags remember this illustration from the book yeah I’m not very excited about that yeah me neither,
but let’s say instead we change this in area we change the way we’re viewing what we’re doing and we say you know what Brent.
[36:22] We need you to fill sandbags because there’s about to be a flood that’s going to flood your hometown that you grew up in and we need you to fill sandbags to save the city
how much would I have to pay you now to fill sandbags on the hot I’m taking off work and doing it for free as soon as possible.
This is the point C physically the work is exactly the same in its filling sandbags in the hot sun nothing changed about what we’re physically do.
[36:48] But emotionally in one scenario you’re saving the city in the other scenario you’re filling sandbags for 15 bucks an hour.
We’re not motivated to fill sandbags for 15 bucks an hour We’re a highly motivated to save the city to the point to your point I’d stop what I’m doing I’d go do it for free.
Because it’s Mission motivation.
And I think that may be the key to the whole thing is you know Simon sinek has a book out there you’ve probably heard of it or read it called start with why I think if you start with why
a lot of things make sense but if you start with what and how a lot of times it won’t you know filling sandbags is the what and how.
But if the wind 15 bucks an hour versus saving a city it’s a whole different level of experience yeah you know you’re a hundred percent right.
So let’s talk about the organization that already has a culture that has sort of slid into the sort of get rich mindset and,
people aren’t really motivated by the why it’s people that are coming to collect a paycheck and your you want to just turn this around
right so how do we start to do that is it given people different training is it just starting to talk about some of these values is it starting to reevaluate
who’s here and whether they align with what your cultural values are I mean what does that really look like on a practical level.
[38:10] Yeah well I do think that the strongest cultures.
A line around values and it’s like values or the fabric of the culture now here’s what’s fascinating about values is
a lot of businesses I know have a list of values and their words on the wall
yeah like they went on a retreat one day and they came up with the eight values and they develop the list they frame them and put them on the wall and they just sit there my experience has been values aren’t really valuable
until you they cost you something I think you’ve got to take your values and live them out in a way that cost you something.
[38:52] You know we talked earlier about the fact that Chick-fil-A is closed 52 more days than our competitors
well the value there is that true it valued families and time off and time to go to church for those that wanted to Eccentric cetera and he valued it enough
to where it cost him something 52 of the best days VIP said I’m going to close because there are things more valuable than selling another chicken sandwich,
and where I see values come to life is when they’re used in a way that cost us something so where I might start in a situation like that I’d have to
come to grips with what are the values what are the things we really value around here and are we really living them out and are we living them out in a way that cost us something because that’s where people really believe it
that’s where you get the street cred and if you’ve got a list of values that don’t lend themselves to that you may have the wrong list of values.
You know what I see a lot of times is I see a list of values that are very generic.
[39:50] And that could just as easily be Home Depot Delta you know Coke you know anybody
could be associated with those values I think that the organizations that really understand culture have a unique list of values that they really do believe in and they’ve got stories associated with every value
that would bring that value to life and usually the stories has something to do with an element of sacrifice
yeah the illustration of Chick-fil-A closing 52 days a year is a really strong one there and this reminds me of
you talked about in the book you talk about for maximum value creation
one of them was the maximum of creativity which says we are designed to create value in life that’s
kind of a remarkable statement to make so if you
take that as fact that we are designed to create value in life then anyone who’s in a position where they feel or not
creating value or they don’t recognize the value they’re creating if we’re designed for creating value they don’t feel like they are creating value then they’re just showing up and punching a clock yeah so one of the things that would seem to be really important based on what you just described.
Is that we need to be constantly coaching our team members and
talking about what the values are and how they embody them and why they’re important and then celebrating them when we start to see them lived out do you think that’s right.
[41:12] No question about it and let me connect the dots on something you do because I love what you were just talking about to I do believe we were designed to create value in life but let’s connect that back to what we’re just talking about,
the people that start a get rich business at the essence of a get rich business is about extracting value from other people.
The essence of a be rich business is about creating value for other people.
To your point I think this is one of the things that lines up perfectly with what we were just talking about you know as a 21 year old kid.
[41:47] When I said I want to go out as make as much money as I can fast I can retire as early as you can what was that about that was about extracting value from a company.
It’s like how much will you pay me to do this and my motivation was how much will you pay me to do this I wanted to extract.
What I saw at Chick-fil-A was people who were motivated to create value for other people and the the mo the kind of the mode of operation was all about if we create enough value for other people to use to say
if I help enough other people get what they want.
I’ll eventually get what I want and it just starts with helping other people creating value for other people and then it comes back to you.
[42:26] In the form of higher revenues higher profits off but that’s not your motivation for what you’re doing it’s the fruit of being motivated do something very different,
and all of us are going to visit with dr. I want to go to a doctor who sees it as a mission to help me not I’m a method to make his house payment
you know you know are her house payment and so you know I think it all goes back to the central organizing idea and that particular value connects for creating value.
We’re be rich business for extracting value
we’re get rich business well and we certainly recognize that in each other I mean when I’m talking to different positions around the community I can tell just from the conversation that I’m having with someone and the way that they talk about the patient and the way that they think about the case
and how they view the work that they’re doing it just comes out naturally
in the conversation and so over the years I’ve developed a list of people that I really feel like I can trust more because I know
a that they’re good at their craft and be how much they care about doing a good job and so whenever somebody asks me,
who would you send your family members to for this particular problem so let’s say for a surgeon or for an OBGYN,
I have names that come to mind based on my interactions that I have with people and.
So that’s something that we definitely can see in our interactions with people.
[43:54] I’m curious from your standpoint how would you recommend we try to recognize those kinds of traits that people that were trying to hire so like you said.
The 21 year old the 31 year old that we’re sitting down for an interview I mean anybody can fake it for a 30-minute interview but how do you start that he’s out who those.
[44:12] Diamonds in the Rough are the people that are really looking to create value rather than extract value.
Yeah I’ve got so many I got so many thoughts going through my mind let me share with you a couple of them it definitely starts with the hiring.
To your point and interestingly rep for the first 15 or 20 years of my career at Chick-fil-A like we talked about it was not a glamour business it was not this giant busy it was a business that was struggling,
to survive and struggling to get to the next level and what’s interesting about that is at least for the first 15 years of my career maybe 20.
Almost everybody who came to Chick-fil-A
took a cut in pay to come now I’m not happy they had to take a cut in pay to come because nowadays they’re making far more but the point was they saw something at Chick-fil-A more valuable than a pay increase that they wanted to be part of.
So I think part of what you’re looking for in the interview process and part of what you’re trying to create for an employee value proposition.
[45:14] If someone was going to have to take a cut in pay to come to your organization would that and why would they.
And those are some of the things you got to be able to focus on because literally that’s exactly how Chick-fil-A built the business is attracting people who were not there
to get a bigger paycheck they were there to make more impact and so we started with a nucleus of people who are that way but interestingly nowadays the problem is almost the opposite,
people at Chick-fil-A make so much money that they got to be really Vigilant about people not attracting people who are just there to make so much money.
[45:48] But all that making of the money is the fruit.
Of people who are not doing it for the money C and that that is the same that is the same thing that happens in medicine we see that all the time I tell you where it actually is more Insidious.
[46:02] People that are coming into medical school with.
[46:05] You know just a idealistic way of looking at things and they’re excited about helping people and then deliberately choose Specialties that are lower Clos risk and high pay and,
in one sense I guess that’s fine that’s a free country you can do what you want but I feel like that is a.
[46:23] Really unfortunate and saddening Trend that I’ve seen that there are a few very specific Specialties that people like to go into.
Primarily because they make so much more money and,
frankly have better Lifestyles and I don’t begrudge them that I mean I work harder than most people and I chose that I love it I wouldn’t trade it for anything
but I feel like one of the challenges is that the people that went into those Specialties before it was popular in before it was.
The great lifestyle and the you know the good you know the the good income and that sort of thing.
You see all these people that are coming behind them that they never had to go through the fire.
[47:01] Right they just see the rewards at the end they’re like that’s what I want it’s that getting its I get rich mindset that you were talking about I mean it almost seems to me that
we ought to require that people have to go through the fire in some way so that they maintain that attitude that produced that fruit in the first place.
We do another thought I was having while you were saying is let’s say it is somebody they sacrificed a lot to become a doctor right I mean that would go through the years it’s cool so Ma so I did sacrifice and becoming a doctor but here’s what I might challenge them on
is you just talked about they make a lot of money so they can have a nice lifestyle well if they’re miserable at work,
have a nice lifestyle outside of work that’s good
but what about if they could have as great a lifestyle at work as they have outside of work to the point they were just as excited no matter which place they were that would be a remarkable lifestyle
and I think this is the difference between a good you know where they could just have this great lifestyle outside of work
for remarkable where their time at work is just as much fun just as rewarding just enjoyable as their time outside of work and I think you can do both.
And I’ve seen a guy like Truett Cathy who could have that rewarding career but also have the monetary rewards that become the fruit.
Of doing that work well not the.
[48:21] But let me give you another practical example because my assumption is probably some of the doctors that you’re there listening to this podcast have smaller
you know staffs and audiences and that kind of thing I’ve got a lot of experience in working with small businesses as well let me give you a practical example we were talking about values and how to instill those and if they don’t have the culture they want how do you start rewarding that
one of the things we do at Rome which is a small you know much smaller company we got seven locations at this point you know each each location has like four people on the staff for five people on the staff that might be more analogous.
To a doctor’s office that kind of thing we wanted to reinforce the values at Rome one of the values that we have is the whole idea of hospitality.
We want to be a business built on culture and business built on Hospitality so one of the things that we’ve done is there’s a little app out there technology platform called Slack.
SL ack you’re shaking your head you must be familiar with it we use slack extensively and with slot you can set up channels.
Around any topic that you want and then the whole company can have access to those channels and things show up on your phone so one of our,
channels at Rome is called hospitality and action it’s my favorite Channel.
[49:35] Everyday my phone goes off I get little notifications about something someone has done at Rome to extend this amazing customer service.
To our customers and our members and our guests and all that and it’s unbelievable the stories that start showing up on slack and every time one goes out.
It kind of UPS the ante on the next one you know it’s kind of this exposure to what greatness looks like and then you take it to the next level kind of the four-minute mile but.
Just last week I’ll give you an example last week one of our young ladies that works at Rome named Jocelyn.
[50:09] I saw a person come in from a major corporation and on the way in her heel had gotten knocked off of her shoe
and Jocelyn realize this can be a problem this lady’s going to be walking around all day missing a heel on a shoe and it’s not going to be very comfortable and then she found out they were going to top golf after their meeting at Rome to go dudes and he said this is going to be a miserable day for that lady.
So you know what Jocelyn did ran to a shoe store bought her a new pair of shoes and delivered those shoes to the room and said I I couldn’t stand the thought of you having to go all day in those shoes I got you some new ones,
now I could show you that I know you could see it but your podcast listeners could and I can show you that thread.
[50:50] Out of room there were over 30 replies of other teammates
talking about how inspired they were by what she had done there’s a photo of her giving the shoes to this lady there’s a big write-up that one of the other team members that saw that happen wrote it up.
For the rest of us.
And on and on and on it goes it is just like every day they’re things like that where they see an opportunity to serve someone else they see an opportunity to love someone else and they seize it
and somebody else sees it and Records it and it’s just this spiral I could show you page after page after page of stories like that on my phone,
and so it becomes this and I mean I’m telling you a Christmas and all these other things gift show up on the front desk for all our employees because people are responding to the way they’ve been treated.
All along and then they respond in kind and becomes this virtuous cycle that was just like the idea of The Virtuous cycle with it’s a great concept
well as we start to wrap up here I want to ask you to give some encouragement to the Physicians out there the leaders that are listening to this that are thinking okay you know what
I am a little bit of misconstrue excited this is the kind of culture that I want some company that I want in
we are not there right now and I want to start turning this thing around so.
[52:10] How would you encourage those folks you know as they start to make some of these changes start to implement some of these different concepts that we’ve talked about
because you know they’re going to meet resistance they’re going to be resistance from their leaders are going to be resistance from the team members I mean it’s like steering the Titanic you’re talking about a lot
of institutional inertia so so what encouragement would you offer to those folks that are just looking to start making that first step and start turning things around.
Well the thing that immediately comes to my mind is if they would describe their corporate culture as a desert become the Oasis in the desert start small.
And build become an oasis of Excellence within a desert of mediocrity so to speak.
[52:52] And that’s the one thing I think the biggest mistake I see people make is they try and change the whole thing at once which is unlikely to work I think.
You know unless it’s the CEO and the top leader that’s interposition do that but I think what you can do is start small and build and I’ve seen this happen so many times you know if you’re the leader of a.
Just start with your department and start doing some of this with your department and that will become so attractive other people start to ask about it,
and they’ll start so what are you guys doing you guys all seem so happy and you made it and then other people will see that and ask questions and then it grows and a friend of mine used to say,
you know many corporations think in terms of building programs they launched a program and it’s and it starts with all the Fanfare and the fireworks and you know gets rolled out in this this huge program and it starts big and Fizzles.
[53:44] This person encourage me said don’t create a program create a movement and a movement starts small and builds so create a movement within your company
don’t create a big program a movement that start small and grows over time and it’s it becomes like this Oasis in the desert so other people notice it,
they start to be attracted to and your results start to speak for themselves and then it’s people start asking about it an oasis of excellence in the desert of mediocrity I am
definitely going to borrow that that is fantastic at 11 David this is absolutely been a phenomenal conversation I know that people are going to want to learn more I know people are going to want to go get the book I know people are gonna want to hear more from you
so if people want to connect to you and get more content and continue the conversation what are some ways that people can connect to you and what you guys are doing.
Probably the best way is I’ve got a website called David G Salyers it’s d-a-v-i-d G as in.
Good G Salyers sa lytar s.com.
[54:50] David G Salyers.com and I’ve got all kind of support materials are some videos they are I’ve got a digital course there are certain that the book all that kind of stuff so anything the need that’s a great starting point.
[55:01] Fabulous will David this was a fantastic discussion I’ll make sure to link to the website and any social media handles for you in the show notes
and the podcast description so everyone can connect to you and there’s also going to be a link in the podcast description where people can order a copy of the book remarkable
guys I’m telling you it is an inspiring book I mean I devoured that book in like two and a half hours and I’ve been working on redrafting my vision for the scope of practice as a result so I’m telling you go buy a copy of that today it is
fantastic well he is David Salyers and I want to say thank you so much to you David for coming and joining us on the scope of practice podcast today I think people are really going to be better for it
well Brent it truly has been my pleasure to be with you today no doubt about it.
[55:47] That is one of the most authentic man you’ll ever meet in our conversation before the interview I could just instantly tell.
He is a genuine guy I mean his attitude is not a put on he is a man who just loves what he does and loves helping people get better at what they do.
And that’s really the essence of leadership the best leaders are the ones who help their team members to be the best version of themselves.
The best leaders are focused on making their team successful not themselves.
[56:21] I hope that resonates with you I want to encourage you this week to take a page out of David’s book and ask what’s something you can do this week to help one of your team members accomplish their goals.
How can you help them be more than they think they can be.
[56:34] Pick up a copy of David’s book remarkable while you’re at it it’s a top 5 leadership book for me it’s absolutely incredible.
Use the link in the podcast description to buy it and get your whole leadership team to read it trust me trust me it’s worth it.
[56:48] For today’s free resource I’m giving you a free guide called the five critical tools all physician leaders need.
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[58:13] Thanks so much for joining me on the scope of practice podcast today.
You can also find all those resources in the show notes at www.scopemonth.com / episode 80 that’s www.scopemonth.com episode 8 0 or just click the links in the podcast description.
Thanks so much for joining me and I’ll see you next time.
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