Servant Leadership Lesson: Mark Sanborn at Chick-Fil-A Leadercast

Mark Sanborn had many great phrases and memorable leadership quotes. His presentation focused on leaders as story builders, improvers and tellers. Below are highlights from Mark’s presentation.

Note: This post is the fourth in a series of Servant Leadership Lessons from the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2010

Mark SanbornMark Sanborn had many great phrases and memorable leadership quotes. In fact, Mark’s website includes the subheading, “Leadership doesn’t make a difference, it is the difference.” How true that is, at every level of the organization. His presentation focused on leaders as story builders, improvers and tellers. Below are highlights from Mark’s presentation:

Making a Better Story

  • “Leaders don’t just tell a better story, they make the story better.”
  • “We want leaders who can help us make our stories better than they would have been.”
  • “…Consider your life (to be) a non-fiction book on the shelf of the bookstore of the world.”
  • “Are you a better person because of your manager?”
    • The above is a question Sanborn asks employees of managers confidentially
    • Are you treating your employees like a WIP or WAC?
      • WIP= Work In Progress – how we often view ourselves
      • WAC=Works Already Completed – how we often look at others.
        • “Why do we treat them (those we meet) as foregone conclusions rather than a future possibility?”
        • “…it’s called Leadership not Controllership”
        • “The antidote to ‘stuck’ is hope.”
        • “You, as a leader, might have to resell people on their own value… You might have to renarrate their story…You might have misinterpreted your own story”
  • “Reenergize people by giving them hope… Hope is having something new try and be willing to try.
      • A future that is different than the one they currently occupy
      • “Refocus people from current struggles to future hopes.”
  • “Redefine Failure”
    • “Failure is something that happens to you, not something you are…Failures are indicators you are making progress”
    • “Your resume is current until the day you retire. Your legacy will live beyond you.”
    • “We as leaders need to pay attention to how our stories are affecting others.”

C.R.A.F.T. Model

  • Catch
    • Catch the other person’s story
    • Requires slowing down, make space to catch the other person’s story
  • Respond
    • Don’t reject the story
    • People have no reason to change until we accept them
  • Ask
    • Ask questions
    • What is your greatest hope here (at organization / business)?
  • Feel
    • Listen with your heart.
    • A cynic is a passionate person that doesn’t want to be disappointed with you.
  • Tell
    • Tell your Story
    • That’s where you find the connectivity
    • The focus is not on you or what you learned – but on how they can be better (their story can be better) because of what you learned in your story

I am grateful to Mark for his participation in the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast and especially enjoyed his CRAFT model. I see great alignment here with servant leadership principles.

More From Mark Sanborn

Latest Book: The Fred Factor
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Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

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