Truett Cathy Leadership & Business Quotes

Truett Cathy

The founder of Chick-fil-A, Truett Cathy passed away on September 8th, 2014 at age 93. He will be remembered as a successful business leader, family man, and strong person of faith. In memory of Truett Cathy, I wanted to share some leadership and business quotes from him.

“We’re not just in the chicken business, we’re in the people business.”

“Sometimes success is disguised in hard work.”

“It’s easier to succeed than to fail.”

“Take advantage of unexpected opportunities.”

“You have to be very careful about what you say. More importantly, you have to be very careful about what you do. You never know how or when you influence people – especially children.”

“If you wish to enrich days, plant flowers; If you wish to enrich years, plant trees; If you wish to enrich Eternity, plant ideals in the lives of others.”

“No goal is too high if we climb with care and confidence.”

“We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed…”

“Loyalty of your people is a key to most any business success.”

“If they can’t take care of the personal life, how can you expect them to take care of business?”

“As Christians, we have an obligation and responsibility to abide by the principles of the Bible.”

“Businesses are not dishonest or greedy, people are.”

“It is when we stop doing our best work that our enthusiasm for the job wanes. We must motivate ourselves to do our very best, and by our example lead others to do their best as well.”

“To take advantage of unexpected opportunities, we must leave ourselves available.”

“Many successful people I know set magnificent goals for themselves, then let nothing stand in the way of their achievement. I don’t engage in that kind of long-range planning. Instead, I leave myself and my company available to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.”

“Many of the unexpected opportunities we encounter are small but significant.”

“The one thing I take more joy in than anything else in the world is seeing young people develop.”

“I believe that you can combine biblical principles and good business practices.”

“Being in the food business, you have to remember to do each and every thing right, every time.”

Questions: Can you add to the list? Which quote did you like the most?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • What an amazing leader, business owner and Christian. It seems that there are few left of his caliber! I think Truett Cathy is a great example of the powerful influence Christians can have in the business world!

    • I agree about that. We need more leaders like Truett. Thank you for sharing.

  • DS

    We keep seeing champions of a faithful life passing into a better place. Their impact is far and wide. Now it’s time for others to not only leverage what they’ve learned from these great examples, but to also lead the current and future generations.

    • Amen about that! The next generation of Christian leaders will rise up. Thank you for sharing.

  • Truett was the quintessential faith-driven leader, Dan. It’s great to see other bloggers like you and Joe share his wisdom with us. Good job!

    • He was a great man! Thank you for taking time to check these quotes out!

  • Hey Dan. Long time no see. Hope you’re doing fine!

    Most of them are great quotes.

    But I disagree with this one. . .

    “It’s easier to succeed than to fail.”

    –I would say it’s the opposite. It’s easier to ‘fail’ than to succeed. Easier to follow than to lead. Easier to put your head down and succumb to peer pressure than to do something bold. Easier to work for somebody else than to start a big business yourself. And so on.

    Do you agree?

    PS:
    I see you’ve got your theme looking real nice. Good job on that.

    • Yes, it’s been a while. Glad to hear from you. I have to agree toward your argument, failure comes easy and happens a lot more toward our way to success. Thank you for taking the time to read and add your thoughts.

  • Great list Dan, hard to pick just one. However, I will go with this one, “Take advantage of unexpected opportunities.” We work so hard to make grand plans but it is those, often small, unexpected opportunities that hold the most fruit Life is fleeting, we need to make all of it count.

    • That’s a good one! Those unexpected opportunities often turn into the best things that happen to us. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  • Loved the list Dan. I also made up my list of leadership quotes from Truett Cathy. He sure was a wise man.

    • I read your list and loved them! Great minds think alike:)

  • Dan Erickson

    Great list of quotes. I don’t completely agree with the politics of the business. In fact, I wonder if some businesses are simply lobbyists disguised as businesses. But I do appreciate the leadership lessons that can be learned.

    • Ha, I think you have a point about some business being lobbyists:) Thank you for sharing.

  • “Businesses are not dishonest or greedy, people are.”

    Capitalism has gotten a bad rap in the past few years. But the Free Market is what drives creativity and helps show what people want and need and how much they are willing to pay for it.

    Capitalism isn’t bad, some people are.

    One things for certain, all you have to do is read history to know a socialistic society decreases creativity and leads to a less satisfied population. It means well, but it ends badly.

    • Hello TC Avey, I totally agree! Thank yo for adding to the discussion.

    • It’s a shame an alternative that balances the virtues of both is yet to be found. I’ve been reading lately about something called social enterprise and the work of Muhammad Yunus. I think it’s a system, if it proves scalable, that may be able to provide the best of both worlds but I guess time will tell.

  • Truett Cathy once visited the university where I work. It was several years ago and at the time we were looking for ways to better motivate our workforce. He told our administration that their employees were the best customers and that the better you treat your employees, the better they will treat the customer. Now, I know that the average front-line Chick-fil-a worker doesn’t make a ton of money, but from what I have heard from current and former employees, they tell me that the culture there is what makes the difference. This is the wisdom that great leaders must acknowledge and work to foster.

    • Hello Leslee,

      You hit on some great points. Leaders/managers often focus on the wrong person, the customer and not the the employees. But when a leader/manger takes care of the employee they in tun will take care of the customer. Chick-Fil-A is a perfect example of this! Thank you for reading and commenting. Hope to hear from you again.

  • ‘You never know how or when you influence people’ – what a sobering thought, and a great quote. Will spend some time thinking about that one.

    • Yes, it’s a good one! Thank you for taking time to read and comment.

  • Love the quote “The one thing I take more joy in than anything else in the world is seeing young people develop.” I can relate to Cathy on this. I absolutely love seeing younger people develop into leaders and strive towards greatness. It’s why I love speaking to educators and students.

    • Hello Kent,
      Yes he was. One of my passions is to help young people develop into thriving leaders. Thank you for doing what you do to impact the next generation!