S. Truett Cathy: Character in Leadership

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Learner: Jeffrey L Boyer


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Dr. Jean Perlman

Organizational Behavior
Assignment 6

Faculty Use Only

Character and Its Influence in Leadership
Jeffrey L. Boyer
Dr. Jean Perlman
North Central University
August 5, 2010

S. Truett Cathy (Truett Cathy) is the founder and CEO of Chick-fil-A, Inc. that currently operates as the second largest quick-serve chicken restaurant in the United States. The goal of this paper is to bring to light the influence, effectiveness and most importantly the character of one of the most endearing CEO’s in the United States. The paper provides a detailed overview of Mr. Cathy’s achievements in business, and provides a personal perspective from Mr. Cathy what he felt were the most important principles for developing a great business. A review of Truett Cathy’s character traits results in a discussion of some of the most important traits in correlation to his success such as, integrity, selflessness, high moral character and others. An examination of charisma and character is also found in the paper with a comparison in leadership characteristics of Mr. Cathy to that of Jack Welsh, former CEO of General Electric. The paper concludes with a short summation of how Mr. Cathy’s leadership principles could influence one’s leadership decisions moving forward.

S. Truett Cathy: An Introduction
S. Truett Cathy (Truett Cathy) is founder and chairman of Chick-fil-A, Inc. Cathy started the business in 1946, when he and his brother, Ben, opened an Atlanta diner known as The Dwarf Grill (later renamed The Dwarf House). Through the years, the restaurant prospered and led Cathy to further the success of his business. In 1967, Cathy founded and opened the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta, GA with the company growing to the second-largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States based on annual sales. (“Cathy”. n.d. para. 2)

Truett Cathy is widely known as one of the most endearing and selfless entrepreneurs in business. Often described as the man who “invented the chicken sandwich”… Mr. Cathy would more rather be known to the world for his satisfaction and sense of obligation to the community and its young people. (“Cathy” n.d. para. 4)

Today Chick-fil-A is one of the most popular fast food restaurants, and the principles of the founder are not simply acknowledged, but rather it seams endeared by the employees and the patrons of the restaurant. “Truett Cathy built his life and business based on hard work, humility and biblical principles. Based on these principles, all of Chick-fil-A’s restaurants operate with a ‘closed on Sunday’ policy, without exception (“Cathy. n.d. para. 8) Mr. Cathy adopted this principle at the risk of company profits, but Mr. Cathy wanted to set an example for his employees that family comes before profits. Interestingly enough one of Mr. Cathy’s favorite quotes comes from the book of...
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