Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Book Review: How Did You Do It, Truett?

How Did You Do It, Truett? is the story of S. Truett Cathy, the founder of Chik-Fil-A. This book, written by Cathy, tells how Mr. Cathy got started in the restaurant business and how Chik-Fil-A was born. It gives some interesting insights into his life growing up and the challenges he faced in starting his business. It also talks about his business model and philosophy.

Mr. Cathy is a firm believer in putting people first. He prides himself on customer service. One key point that stuck out for me is when he says that he likes the response "my pleasure"
when someone thanks you for providing a service. He really drives home the point that providing excellent service should be something you pride yourself on. It makes a lot of sense to me. If you're going to be part of a company, you should be proud of the service it provides and be proud of the part you take in it.

At the end of the book he gives Eleven Do's and Don'ts of Proven Success. I'll list a few here just to get your appetite going, but I really think you should read it for yourself.

  1. Don't be burdened with personal debt.
    1. Car payment
    2. House Payment
    3. Establish a nest egg
    4. Live simple
  2. Start early as a teenager. Concentrate on what brings you happiness in your career. Have a tremendous "want to" determination.
  3. Sacrifice material things. Reward yourself later.
Those are the first three out of the eleven. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I like the principles he preaches. S. Truett Cathy truly has a good professional and moral compass that has obviously served him well and I think everyone can learn from and appreciate his experiences and examples.


Anonymous said...

This book has sound advice for anyone starting a business. How often is the "customer" in customer service forgotten? If you don't like what you're selling then you should be selling something else!

Patty said...

Cathy also was true to his religious beliefs by closing his business on Sundays. That was not a popular idea, but he stuck to his convictions and his business prospered.

Anonymous said...

One of Mr. Cathy's restaurants is in a mall food court near my sister's house. We all work, so end up there on weekends. We'd like to buy his product, but the sstore is not open on Sunday. It makes me not want to eat there other days. It doesn't feel like great customer service, yet he's obviously successful.

Anonymous said...

Chick-Fil-A is a company that focuses on values -- in its operation, the quality of its product, its community involvement. The principles Truett Cathy expounds in this book are the same principles that have made Chick-Fil-A so successful.

Elizabeth said...

I absolutely love S. Truett Cathy. I too find him so inspirational and motivational. He's not out to sell unrealistic ideals. He's a simple man who just seems to get it.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I work in the customer service industry and maybe this book should be required reading.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good professional, but I don't see how he is any different than any other brilliant work determined company starters.