Lunch, learn and grow as a leader

Chick-fil-A owner con­tin­u­ing se­ries in 2019 pro­mot­ing growth of ser­vice lead­er­ship

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­

What’s the Chick-fil-A way of get­ting things done?

It’s all about ser­vant lead­er­ship ac­cord­ing to local owner Zach Thomas, who through a se­ries of classes con­tin­ues to help spread the gospel of how his restau­rant chain’s suc­cess­ful pre­scrip­tion for do­ing busi­ness out into Polk County.

Thomas, who has been a Chick-fil-A op­er­a­tor for more than nine years and opened the store in Rock­mart in 2017, said the idea for his bi-monthly Lunch and Learn se­ries is to give peo­ple in­sight on how they can bet­ter lead their em­ploy­ees by un­der­stand­ing that it all comes from the “H.E.A.R.T.”

It’s an acro­nym formed around the phrase “Lead­ers serve from the H.E.A.R.T,” Thomas ex­plained. It asks par­tic­i­pants to keep in mind such prin­ci­ples like “Thank other first,” “Ex­pect the best,” “Re­spond with courage” and more.

Ul­ti­mately it builds on it­self, and Thomas spends a few min­utes each ses­sion up front catch­ing peo­ple up on where he is in the course­work.

“I think we’ll con­tinue to re­peat them for as long as peo­ple want to learn and grow,” Thomas said. “I think the jour­ney of be­com­ing a leader re­quires us to hear things more than once. But ul­ti­mately it is a se­ries of growth through lead­ing self, lead­ing teams, lead­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions and lead­ing oth­ers.”

He said the course­work can go on for as long as 36 hours, so he might be at the Lunch and Learn se­ries or­ga­nized through the Polk County Cham­ber of Com­merce for the next sev­eral years. But he doesn’t mind, be­cause with each class it also en­sures that he con­tin­ues to prac­tice what he’s teach­ing in ev­ery­day life.

“Be­ing able to teach what I’ve learned helps me,” Thomas said. “The best way to learn is to teach. So for me, be­ing able to teach what I’ve learned and share that in the com­mu­nity ben­e­fits me in my own lead­er­ship jour­ney, but my ul­ti­mate goal of help­ing lead­ers in the com­mu­nity who want to grow and pro­vide them an op­por­tu­nity to grow them­selves.”

Those in­ter­ested in the Lunch and Learn se­ries can find out more by head­ing over to the Cham­ber web­site at polk­ge­or­gia. com and find the up­com­ing Lunch and Learn on the cal­en­dar to learn more, or visit this story on Polk­stan­dard­jour­ to find a link.

Cost to par­tic­i­pate is $15 for cham­ber mem­bers and $20 for non-cham­ber mem­bers per ses­sion, but does in­clude lunch pro­vided by Thomas.

/ Kevin Myrick

Par­tic­i­pants are go­ing through 36 hours of course­work bro­ken up into hour long seg­ments dur­ing the bi-monthly Lunch and Learn se­ries hosted by Chick-fil-A of Rock­mart owner Zach Thomas.

Kevin Myrick

Chick-fil-A owner Zach Thomas leads a bi-monthly course on ser­vant lead­er­ship in the Lunch and Learn se­ries.

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