Dare to Serve Reflection: How do you think about the people you lead? Last night I enjoyed a dinner conversation with a Popeyes leader who oversees more than a dozen restaurants. In our chat, we were reflecting on how grateful we both were for the momentum in our business – and how blessed we felt to be a part of this company. I was so impressed with this person’s genuine love of the restaurant business. It led me to ask him to share a bit about his family history.

He told me about his grandparents. He had spent summers with them – working the land. Learning what hard work looks like. Learning what it means to serve others – the workers on the farm. Learning how to prepare food from the barn and the garden. A hard life in many ways, but a place to learn how to love others, do productive work, and treasure the simple things. He then said – “I think this is where I learned my love for the restaurant business.”

And then I understood so much about the man – his values, his perspective, and his attitude. His mindset was – “I can find joy in serving others, in working hard, and in treasuring life shared with the people in our restaurants.” Wow. I want to work for him. Wouldn’t you?

When I joined Popeyes in 2007, we were suffering from a lot of things. Discouragement, disappointment, skepticism, frustration, and more. Our employees had watched multiple leaders come and go without a turnaround of the business. Our franchise owners were exasperated at the poor performance. Our board wanted to know what was wrong. Our shareholders wanted their investment to provide a return.

We needed new results to be sure. But to get there, we also needed a new attitude. We needed to think freshly about our work. Why it is valuable? Why do we want to work hard to solve the problems? Why we want to serve the Popeyes family well? Without a fresh mindset about the work, we would have been doomed to repeating history.

Is your attitude determining your altitude?

What emotions do you have about your workplace today? How will your mindset affect your work today? What could you do to approach the work freshly and positively?

Serving Performs.

Results and Outcomes

Hard to argue that the RESULTS and OUTCOMES derived in our lives are a function of the ACTIONS we take...and that our actions are a function of the PRIORITIES we establish and place in our lives… And that the priorities we create and establish are a function of our ATTITUDES and BELIEFS … And that those attitudes and beliefs are derived from our FEELINGS and THOUGHTS… And those feelings and thoughts are a direct reflection of the condition of our HEART and SOUL. It's an undeniable correlation that the results and outcomes we achieve in life are a function at a core level of the condition and health of our heart and soul. A troubled soul stimulates sour feelings and thoughts resulting in poorer than normal attitudes that create a negative chain reaction in priorities, actions and ultimately results.

We're encouraged with timeless wisdom of the ages to guard our hearts above all else as everything we do flows from it (it's the wellspring of life). And we are also instructed by a wise character from the Old Testament name Samuel who insightfully observed that "people look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

As you contemplate the results and outcomes in your life, perhaps there is a heart and soul issue at work. What is at the core of the results you are achieving? Do your priorities reflect a desire to guard your heart and care for the wellspring of your life ("everything" flows from it)? Are you creating space and margin in your life to enable a healthy heart or is your schedule so busy that care of the core seems ivory tower or unimportant? Or maybe life for you is compartmentalized (things on Sunday are completely separate from things Monday through Friday)? Are you consistently surrounding yourself with competent, high-trust people who share your values and priorities in life and business? People who can be a source of encouragement and soul care?

As Dallas Willard stated, "what matters is not the accomplishments you achieve; what matters is the person you become." Start at the heart.