Andy Stanley on Organizational Clarity at Chick-fil-A Leadercast 2013

This past Friday, I had the chance to attend the Chick-fil-A Leadercast Live Site. The event was broadcast from there to over 150,000 attendees at hundreds of video sites around the world.  With the theme, Simply Lead, ever speaker shared insights on how to reduce complexity within your life, organization, and leadership. This week, I”ll be sharing the insights that impacted me most.  First up, we”ll focus on Andy Stanley”s main points.  I think you”ll find yourself inspired and challenged!

  • With growth and expansion comes complexity.  There is no way to avoid it.
  • Organizational clarity is the most important thing.  Complexity is the enemy of clarity.
  • On the high growth stage of North Point:  “If I wasn”t carefully, I was going to succumb to the complexity and lose the clarity that had moved our organization forward.”
  • Growth creates complexity which requires simplicity.
  • Andy wrote 3 questions on a napkin over 10 years ago and continues to ask them today…


  • There is extreme clarity when you can boil down someone”s role down to one thing.
  • Even the bellman of the Ritz-Carlton have a clear vision statement: We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.
  • Steve Jobs created clarity upon reentering a complex Apple organization:  We are going to build easy-to-use computers.
  • Without clear articulation of what you are doing,  the mist in your mind will eventually become a fog in your organization.


  • It is important to clarify your organization”s source of inspiration and passion.
  • What would your community, country, or world look like if you didn”t exist?
  • If you are not sure, work to find out what drove the founders to begin your organization.
  • If you do not have this answered, the work of everyone in your organization will simply become a job.


  • What is it that only you can do?  Find your critical role, unique contribution, or core responsibility.
  • Create one sentence job descriptions to provide focus for yourself and everyone around you.
  • Andy”s one-sentence job description for himself:   To inspire our staff and congregations to be fully engaged in our mission and strategy.
  • Andy”s assistant”s one sentence job description:   To keep Andy”s path clear of nonessential tasks and decisions so that he can do what only he can do.

Whether you were there or you”re just reading along, I”d love to hear what stuck with you!  Which of these or other points most impacted your leadership?

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Ryan Stigile