Our Acumen community (CEO’s/Owners and their top exec’s) had a unique chance to host and spend time with a very prominent founder and CEO. His retail behemoth now has nearly 800 locations and over 35,000 employees across the great states of America. Both he and his firm have become household names. Their firm remains a privately run family business. I’ll spare the names for the sake of suspense and respect for privacy.
The firm and its foundings are an All-American entrepreneurial story. Started in garage; a $600 loan to kick off the business; hiskids helping assemble finished product at the dining room table. Amazing!
However, the most amazing part is the simplicity and humility that the patriarch and CEO exhibits. He’s down to earth. He’s practical. He’s unassuming and quick to credit others for their growth and rapid expansion. He’s also very principled in his priorities and has boldly and bravely chosen to leverage those priorities as his framework of leadership.
It’s a massive step of faith. Truly faith! Why else would someone willingly subject himself to broad public criticism, take the hill of battle against legislation that contradicts his and their family’score beliefs, and risk the very existence of their company?
I was inspired to say the least! Not by the acts of bravery, boldness, brilliance, business savvy or strategic prowess; But by the humility and acknowledgment of something so much greater. A simple set of priorities that genuinely and authentically place God, family, and business in stack rank order. A steadfast obedience to the precepts that undergird his faith and willingness to take flack and criticism from scoffers.
I love that they have a genuine care for their people, that their internal minimum wage is greater than $15 per hour, that despite being in the retail business, they close on Sunday. That they want to build an excellent business that produces excellent employee opportunities and healthy profitability.
And I haven’t even mentioned one of the most mind blowing statistics which flies in the face of every conventional business strategy. Wait for it. They give away 50% of the profits to charity. Generosity redefined!
For those who are scoffing and mocking… Cheers to a Higher Standard!