Focus on Better, Not Bigger

Evolution of a young plantYears ago during a Chick-Fil-A board meeting, the discussion was about what to do about Boston Chicken (later Boston Market), which had developed an aggressive strategy to become the first ever billion-dollar-in-sales chicken restaurant by the year 2000. The board members were talking about how they, too, needed to get bigger in order to compete. Finally, CFA Founder, Truett Cathy, who had been silent, pounded the table, which for him was a very uncharacteristic move. Why was he so frustrated? What he told the board says it all.

“Gentlemen, forget about getting bigger! If we just focus on getting better, then people will demand that we get bigger.”

That was a significant visionary leadership moment. In today’s world of bigger equals success, it just might do us well to focus on just getting better. Not the pursuit of perfection, but simply progress. For a church, this might mean getting a little better in welcoming folks on Sunday, a little better at children’s ministry, a little better in the music ministry, and yes, even the preaching ministry. If everything gets a little better, eventually, folks will demand that we get bigger. But the same applies to any job, schoolwork, marriage, sports, etc.

And you know what? By focusing on getting better, not bigger, Chick-Fil-A became the first billion-dollar-in-sales chicken restaurant by 2000, while Boston Market filed for bankruptcy in 1998.

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