Leadership Lessons You Can Learn From The Chick-Fil-A Controversy

Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-Fil-A, recently answered he was “guilty as charged” when asked if he backed the “biblical definition of a family.” This has created a huge backlash from organizations that have differing views. Creating a Chick-Fil-A controversy.


Chick-Fil-A Restaurant

Mr. Cathy and Chick-Fil-A have long been applied Biblical principals to business practices. Feeling that Biblical principals are the best way to run a business. The beliefs of the owners have never been a secret.

Chick-Fil-A believes it is best to be closed on Sundays, to carry no debt, and to give back to the community can only improve their business. And by looking at their business, it’s been great values to follow.

Yet the recent news that they support a Biblical view of marriage has created a huge controversy.

Now, whether or not you agree with his statements you can learn from this situation.

  • Your personal values can affect your business: The news of Dan Cathy saying he believes in the traditional family sent ripples through the blog-o-sphere and news channels. Some praised the comment. Others have shouted their disdain. Those with objections have been having their views aired through news channels.

    They’re calling for boycotts. For apologies. For cities and colleges to kick them out of their place of business. Jim Hensen even pulled their Muppet toys from the store.

    This may or may not adversely affect their bottom line. But the press they’ve received cannot be viewed as good.

  • Stand by your values: Chick-Fil-A is standing by the comments Dan Cathy made. If you’re going to publicly announce what you believe, you must be willing to stand behind them. Don’t waver. If you do, it will cause an even greater backlash.
  • Treat your customers the same: Regardless of your beliefs, do your best to serve your customers. Even if they disagree with you. Serve those that you disagree with the same as you would those that believe as you do.
  • Carry on: You must continue doing business. Having a segment of the public disagree with you may be scary. But you must stay the course and do business as usual. Continue selling chicken, continue serving customers, continue being great.

I believe Chick-Fil-A will weather this storm fine. They’ll come out just as good as before. But that’s because they’ve built their business upon their principles and are unwilling to compromise.

When you’re able to stand behind what you believe, you will be able to come through controversy. It may not be fun. It may not be pretty. But it’s something you can do.

Question: How have your values impacted your business or organization? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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