In this episode of the Blanchard LeaderChat podcast we speak with Mark Miller, Vice President of High Performance Leadership for Chick-fil-A and author of the new book, Leaders Made Here.
For Miller, growing great leaders wasn’t an option at Chick-fil-A. Accelerated growth was putting a strain on leadership bench strength.
“We needed more leaders faster. We couldn’t just overload existing leaders. We knew we would get to the breaking point.”
Miller discusses the journey Chick-fil-A took in developing a leadership culture—where people are routinely developed.
“You have to start by understanding the importance of leadership and defining what leadership means in your organization. In most organizations you’ll find a wide variety of different answers. You have to forge a consensus.”
But that’s not the end of it says Miller. Next, you must train existing and emerging leaders to establish that common language of leadership. Part of that includes giving emerging leaders a chance to practice. As Miller explains, “Most of what we know about leading we learn from actually doing it.”
“It’s easy to always give tough projects to existing leaders—but you have to be willing to give emerging leaders a chance. Who are the less seasoned, less experienced, emerging leaders who we could provide with an opportunity?”
Miller also discusses measurement and metrics including a leadership bench strength rating. He recommends using a technique showing how ready people are for their next leadership assignment using a scale of Ready Now; Ready in 1-3 years; or Good in Place.
Be sure to listen to the very end of the interview to hear Ken Blanchard’s thoughts and takeaways from the interview.