Dare to Serve | Cheryl A. Bachelder

Summary of: Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others
By: Cheryl A. Bachelder


Get ready to explore the world of ‘Dare-to-Serve’ leadership as we dive into Cheryl A. Bachelder’s book Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others. In this summary, you will discover that servant leadership is the key to driving exceptional results, fostering high-performing team members, and embarking on a successful journey to daring destinations. Learn about Bachelder’s experience as CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and the transformation that took place in the company as it embraced the principles of passion, listening, planning, coaching, accountability, and humility. Find out how prioritizing relationships with others and maintaining a positive mind-set can change the way you lead and create a meaningful impact in your professional life.

Dare-to-Serve Leadership

Leaders who serve others can deliver exceptional results by creating an environment that encourages high-performing teams. Unlike self-centered spotlight leaders, dare-to-serve leaders collaborate with their co-workers and seek input. They act in their organizations’ best interests, build their employees’ abilities, and inspire them to have the courage to embrace risk.

According to the book, the principles that guide how leaders accomplish business strategy will determine the trajectory of results. Dare-to-serve leadership is a brave way of leading companies and workers to surprising destinations while putting others first. Instead of demanding attention and affirmation, these leaders shun center stage and share the credit.

In contrast, spotlight leaders exhibit an authority-based leadership style that provides all the answers and shows their subordinates the way to go. Spotlight leaders use their power and authority to make others do their bidding and seldom bring the best out in the people who work for them.

The book summary concludes that “Dare-to-Serve” leadership fosters high-performing team members because they choose to serve and act with confidence, inspiring their employees to achieve beyond self-serving ambitions while being held accountable for their actions.

Dare-To-Serve Leadership

When Cheryl Bachelder took over as CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, the company was in a dire state. Sales were plummeting, customer satisfaction was at an all-time low, profits were down, and morale was poor. Bachelder and her leadership team knew they needed to make a change. They read books on leadership and decided to adopt a “servant leadership” mindset, prioritizing service to their people and the company. They defined their purpose as “to inspire servant leaders to achieve superior results” and identified six leadership principles to guide their management.

However, the team’s opinion of their employees and franchise owners had also deteriorated. To be true servant leaders, they needed to maintain a positive mindset toward their employees and prioritize their interests above their own. The team identified all the constituencies they served, including franchisees, and made a conscious effort to shift their attitudes. They recognized that franchise owners invest a lot of time, money, and effort into their operations and deserved respect, love, and commitment. The team’s approach went against industry practice, as franchisor-franchisee relationships are often antagonistic, but they believed that serving their franchise owners would ultimately lead to the best results. The team’s dedication to servant leadership paid off, and Popeyes experienced a remarkable turnaround.

The Benefits of a Dare-to-Serve Leadership Style

Dare-to-serve leadership style requires commitment. It involves prioritizing relationships with others over being right. According to the author, true humility is crucial for great leaders. When encountering resistance, persuasion is preferred over exerting authority. Resistance should not be interpreted as mistrust, and trust must be earned with every new proposal. Although challenging, adopting this style can lead to several benefits such as improved communication, initiative-taking, quality work, support, and protection.

The Power of Daring Leadership

Successful leaders set high-performance goals supported by a solid business case and actionable plans. They create an environment that enables their team to contribute to the best of their abilities. To achieve credibility as a leader, you need to commit resources to reach your goals. Influencing and persuading others is more effective than exercising authority over them.

In the book “Dare to Serve,” Cheryl Bachelder’s leadership team illustrates the importance of defining daring destinations as achievable high-performance goals. They presented a four-part plan titled “Roadmap to Results” with targets that provided a vision of success that everyone could understand and support. To focus their efforts, the executive group cross-referenced the brand’s biggest challenges with the active projects in the company pipeline.

Leadership also means being courageous enough to measure and report performance results, to be accountable. The team at Popeyes added metrics to assess the restaurant’s experience, such as speed of service, and shared them with franchise owners, team members, and shareholders. This enabled them to target specific improvements and create realistic action plans.

To serve people well, leaders need both the courage of the dare and the humility of the leader. Failing to commit the necessary resources to achieve goals can undermine a leader’s credibility and hurt team motivation. The Popeyes executives faced this test when they presented a national advertising campaign to franchisees. Although unusual, they committed $6 million to the campaign, which became a turning point for the company when it succeeded, and customer traffic increased.

Overall, daring leadership involves setting high-performance goals with a solid business case, creating an environment that enables team members to contribute to the best of their abilities, measuring and reporting performance results, and committing the necessary resources to achieve goals to serve people well.

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