We recently had the second installment of our community-driven leadership focus, Meaningful Conversations: A Series on Leadership. Over an insightful hour, Jackson Spalding co-founder Glen Jackson spoke with business leader and former CEO of Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., Cheryl Bachelder, on what the Dare-to-Serve leader does to cultivate environments for people to perform at their absolute best.
Cheryl spent more than a decade as Director and CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. Her leadership role was transformational in the success of the business, documenting her story with Popeyes in her book Dare to Serve: How to drive superior results by serving others. Cheryl currently serves as a director and compensation committee chair on the board of US Foods Holding Corp and as a lead independent director for JS client Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Here are a few takeaways from Glen Jackson’s interview with Cheryl:
Cheryl defines a servant leader as someone who counts others more significantly than themselves in the decisions they make at work. Having the courage to lead someone to a daring destination while possessing the humility to walk alongside them is one of the attributes that makes a good leader.
Of course, she notes that there are risks with this approach. Servant leadership is countercultural. Cheryl said, “We live in a culture of fear that prioritizes independence, ego and public displays of strength. It takes conscious decisions to step out of the spotlight and prioritize your employees. You will deliver superior performance results this way.”
Leadership is a place of influence and impact. Creating an environment where people can perform their best begins with really knowing your people – what their strengths are, how they want to learn and grow and what their life experiences and struggles are. What are the benefits of such knowledge? Cheryl believes it builds deep relationships of trust and creates organic and customized opportunities for learning and growth.
“Cheryl believes and lives out the tenet that every leader has an exponential opportunity for influence. She exhibits character and competence in all aspects of her life. I was reminded of this fact throughout our very meaningful conversation. It was a real privilege to have Cheryl pour into us.”
As a team member, leader or company, how do you live out servant leadership?
Every day we are learning how to better support our team members at Jackson Spalding. Whether that is through our mentorship program, culture team or employee surveys, we are pouring into our employees to support the next generation of thought leadership. If you are interested in more discussion or need help with your organization’s servant leadership framework, send us a note— we are happy to help.