Podcast: David Salyers on Building a Remarkable Team

Investing in others matters more than anything. This is the truth that David Salyers, previous Chick-fil-A marketing executive and author of Remarkable!: Maximizing Results Through Value Creation, learned during his 37-year career at Chick-fil-A, which began four hours after his college graduation.

At that time, David says he began his job search with the wrong mentality. “I thought the way the game was played is you take the highest paying job coming out of school, you make as much money as you can as fast as you can and retire early,” he explains. “So my goal at age 21 was to retire at age 35.”

But David’s perspective changed when he realized that meant he’d endure years of work he didn’t like just so he could quit and do something he liked more upon retirement.

Instead, he followed advice from a mentor who told him, “The last thing you need to worry about coming out of college is how much money you make,” and pursued a job he was interested in, and one to which he felt he could make a contribution. He accepted a position with Chick-fil-A making 75 percent less in salary than the other jobs he had on the table.

“I’ve never looked back and never regretted that decision,” he says. Rather than trying to retire as fast as he could, David chose to pursue work he wouldn’t want to retire from—work he wouldn’t want to quit at the first opportunity.

“If you love what you do, you'll never work another day in your life,” he says. “I feel like I've spent my whole life not working a day because I've loved what I've done, who I did it with and the mission we were on.”

In this episode of The Leadercast Podcast, David, now retired after nearly four decades, shares on his career with Chick-fil-A and gives advice for building a remarkable team. The Chick-fil-A marketing team went from two employees when David started back in college to a staff of 220 today. David says investing in others is at the organization's core, filled with leaders who believe the best in each other, want the best for each other and expect the best from each other. LISTEN TO THE EPISODE!


“[Chick-fil-A has] a 97 percent retention rate. It's because we take such pride in who we bring into the organization—it was more like adopting them into a family.” TWEET

“Being rich is about enriching the lives of those we serve.” TWEET

“I want your paycheck to be the least important thing you ever get from Chick-fil-A.” TWEET

“A high-performance culture creates high-performance results.” TWEET

“The No. 1 challenge of a leader is how do we continue to renew our minds that we're not in this for selfish reasons? We have to overcome ourselves because if left to our normal… we will be selfish as a leader. We've got to choose to overcome that.” TWEET

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    This post is based on an episode of The Leadercast Podcast with David Salyers, retired Chick-fil-A marketing executive and author of Remarkable!: Maximizing Results Through Value Creation. To hear this episode, and many more like it, please subscribe to The Leadercast Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play or Stitcher.

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