I am a student of leadership. I’m trying to learn all that I can all of the time.  I study leadership in the military, in government, in the business world and in the church. I’m especially fascinated by what causes an organization to grow or, sadly, to stagnate and eventually fail.

Quality you can taste

Everything I learn about leadership I try to apply to local churches where I spend a good deal of my time investing in leaders to help them finish well and be the best leaders they can be to the glory of God.

A few nights ago, my wife Susan and I watched a documentary on In-N-Out Burger. I was glued to the TV mesmerized  as I observed how they started, what made them successful and the  values that drove what they did and how they did it .

I actually read a book about this fast food restaurant (found mostly in California) which  was fascinating and extremely insightful from a leadership perspective.

Four things stand out to me from both the book and the documentary

  1. Focus; keep it simple by doing a few things well
  2. Training; thorough and ongoing training  for those moving into leadership
  3. Excellence; high standards and consistency in what you do
  4. Take your time; build it well and build it solid

To whet your appetite, here are a few thoughts from my Book Note:

Harry Snyder (the founder) drilled into his workers the singular importance of quality and simplicity. His maxim, “Do one thing and do it well,” was not only repeated with some frequency—it was strictly adhered to.

Harry didn’t open a new shop until he had a manager who was ready to run it properly.

In-N-Out’s enduring success stemmed from Harry’s capacity to understand what he did best and focus exclusively on it.

If you are going to grow your organization,” explained William Martin, who devised the University’s initial training manual and curriculum, you need a training program, and that’s the bottom line.

One top executive in the organization said that Rich (son to Harry) “Was always a leader in communication . “And by communication I mean really good  with follow-up. He developed a package that was clear in what you were expected to do, you were given training to do the job, and then there was always follow-up to see how you were doing it and if you could do it better.”

Here is the link to the Book Note