Operator Spotlight: Joe Anderson

Operator Spotlight:
Joe Anderson

Meet Joe! We’ve had the awesome opportunity to partner with Joe for almost two years and counting. In that time, he’s gone from a leader in Chick-fil-A’s Leadership Development Program to the Operator of a freestanding Chick-fil-A restaurant in Houston.

Check out our recent Q&A with Joe.

What are you passionate about right now at work?

Just consistently growing and developing the team members. It’s really busy and I can’t do it by myself so I’m growing spiritually. I have to depend on Christ and I can’t continually put my identity in the restaurant and results because it’s going to fail at some point. I have to have a really rooted foundation.

What are you passionate about outside work?

Honestly, just developing myself to be better, personally and professionally. I’m trying to figure out how to continually diversify myself from a business perspective.

How did Chick-fil-A’s Leadership Development Program make you a better business owner?

My dad passed away when I was in LDP, so one of the biggest takeaways was learning through tragedy. Since then, I’ve dealt with multiple deaths on the team. It’s a reminder that within the business, life is still happening and you have to learn to balance this. I have more understanding when family members pass and I can point back to the empathy I learned while in LDP.

Another thing LDP taught me is that you have to own your own development. Prior to LDP, I thought of development differently, but I learned if you are going to change something, you are going to have to take control of your change.

How has coaching helped you?

Josh has given me a lot. I’m not as critical of myself anymore. I’m a huge competitor, but it’s given me the mindset of focusing on what’s important. If you don’t hit your goals, know why you didn’t hit your goals and what you can learn from it. I’ve continually self-examined as a business leader. I have also learned to ask questions and listen. I wasn’t a great listener, but now I’m much better at it.

What advice would you give a new business owner?

Invest yourself in your team. As the business continues to increase in complexity and demand, have an outside coach develop your leaders if you can. I don’t have the time every single day to sit down with my leaders and teach them, so I can outsource it and see my leaders continually growing. You can’t be reactive with development; you have to be proactive.

What’s the biggest challenge of opening a new business?

Trusting. You have to trust your team so you can step back sometimes and take care of yourself. The other thing is failing forward. We want to be perfect and there’s so much pressure on Operators to go multi-unit and then get a third and fourth restaurant, but it’s okay to fail. I’m really learning that because if I don’t make the mistake, I won’t learn. If my team doesn’t take the risk, then we will stay stagnant.

You’re a reader. What are some of your favorite books?

  1. The Bible
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People
  3. The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team
  4. Developing the Leader within You

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