If you’re going to lead, lead big!


In Texas, we’re known for our “bigger is better” philosophy. The Lone Star state features the largest of all state capital buildings, DFW Airport has the world’s largest parking lot, and three of the nation’s ten largest cities (Houston, Dallas and San Antonio) are proud to call Texas home.

We also like our leaders to be big. Not in size and ego, mind you, but big in their vision, big in their willingness to take chances, and big in their dreams. Big leaders stand out from the crowd and are constantly demonstrating initiative – whether anyone is watching or not. And big leaders are the first to roll up their sleeves regardless if it’s in their job description.

Take Baylor Quarterback, Robert Griffin. So many times during the past season, the Bears were behind and RG3 remained poised and confident, inspiring his teammates and leading them to victory. True leaders remain confident even in bad times. They inspire their teammates and motivate them even when they are losing. True leaders do things big.

Author William Arthur Ward describes “Big” leaders as those who:

Believe while others are doubting.
Plan while others are playing.
Study while others are sleeping.
Decide while others are delaying.
Prepare while others are daydreaming.
Begin while others are procrastinating.
Work while others are wishing.
Save while others are wasting.
Listen while others are talking.
Smile while others are frowning.
Commend while others are criticizing.
Persist while others are quitting.

At Focus Brands, we applied this zig-when-they-zag approach during the recent economic downturn. While competitors to our Schlotzsky’s, Cinnabon, Carvel, and Auntie Anne’s brands were hunkering down and driving price points down, we upgraded and enhanced our stores and brand image. The result? Our sixth straight year of increasing corporate growth. Our success even got me on TV!

Remember, leadership is not given to you; it is something you give others. When you lead successfully, you bring opportunities to others through better job and career opportunities and satisfying work environments.

You’ve got to go big. Look around to see what everyone else in your business is doing. While they are doubting, playing, daydreaming, and wishing, you can lead your team to Texas-sized successes.

Source: The Migala Report

Q&A with Kelly Roddy of Schlotzsky’s

September 21, 2010 – Kelly Roddy was named president of Schlotzsky’s in December of 2007, the same month the “great recession” began. Since taking the helm of the sandwich chain, Roddy has led the company to strong financial results through strategic changes and strong marketing. Prior to Schlotzsky’s, Roddy was with H-E-B Grocery Company, a 102-year old retailer with more than 300 locations throughout Texas and Mexico. Roddy also worked in business development for Scholastic Corporation, the national book publisher and he also spent eight years with Wal-Mart stores. He currently serves on several boards including Baylor University’s Marketing board, Hankamer School of Business board and the Caritas board.

You joined Schlotzsky’s in December of 2007, just as the “great recession” started. How did you deal with the poor economic conditions as you tried to move the concept forward?
We made the decision to Zig when everyone else Zagged. At that time, many companies were setting up a defensive position, trying to brace themselves for the recession. We have charged full speed ahead on a major brand reinvention. We worked on our company culture, strengthened our business model with the advent of Cinnabon Express, we launched a new brand position, “Lotz Better”, and redesigned all of our packaging and launched more aggressive marketing. We also developed a new prototype and we put in place a very aggressive development plan to grow the company. Instead of focusing on the poor economy, we focused on what we could do to provide more value to our guests by moving to a table delivery model. We have done all of this and had positive comps for 2007 through 2010 so far. Some have said to me that I should walk before I run. I say to them, see you in the rearview mirror.

What have been the biggest challenges that you have faced during your time with the brand?
We have been in a constant state of change since 2007. Change is difficult for some but we have made it part of our culture. Everyone now understands that if we are not in a constant state of evolution then we will become extinct. Read more.

Source: The Food Channel