Alex began his journey in our Leadership Development Program in September 2017. Alex explains why he chose our program, what his long term goals are, and what his experience has been in the program so far. 

I chose Chick-fil-A due to a couple of reasons. I wanted to stand with an organization in whose values and purpose were aligned with my beliefs, and whose products or services were something I personally liked! I have worked with companies that manufactured tires, provided home service maintenance, tax advisory services, and health services; but it excites me to work for a company that makes crave-able food, and creates an environment of belonging and restoration to its guests. Chick-fil-A truly is in the people business, caring for the local community, and achieves this through the avenue of serving delicious food!

It is my goal that through the Leadership Development Program, I would be a qualified candidate to be an Operator for my own Chick-fil-A restaurant in the Nashville area. I want to be able to provide the local Nashville community with a place of belonging and restoration. Where I can employ and care for Team Members and their families. And where I can own a business and provide for my family. To do this through the avenue of operating a Chick-fil-A restaurant would be a dream come true!

The Leadership Development Program has been a fast-paced, non-stop learning journey. Through the program you get to learn the in’s and out’s of the Chick-fil-A business, being placed in an operational role. Initially, it was a shock for me to go from managing strategic projects of Fortune 500 companies to breading chicken and rolling biscuits, but now I see I wouldn’t have it any other way. By starting from the ground up, I have been able to learn the intricacies of developing the quality products Chick-fil-A is known for, along with being able to experientially relate to my teammates. You receive trust and better buy-in from Teammates because they know you have been in their shoes. Now as a Director managing the operations of the business, I am working with the Director team to refine systems and close-gaps on our Key Performance Indicators of the business.

The past couple of months in the program has been a personal-leadership accelerator. By living and operating in the business, I am faced with constant problem-solving opportunities where I get to evaluate what is best for the business. If it is refining or implementing a system or creating and instilling new behaviors in Team Members, I am seeing how these all start with me. If I am to implement a system or encourage a behavior, I as the Leader need to be able to execute the system or behavior and emulate this to Team Members. Team Members can only grow to the extent that I as a leader grow. I am thankful to have intentional, weekly coaching and 1-on-1’s with Beau and Amanda (our managing partner) at the store, that I can work on specific areas to grow my leadership and learn how to think as a business professional.

Leadership Development Program Success Story - Alex Whitmore