When I came IMPACT360, I had very few instances where I needed to act on a professional level. If I had been placed in such a professional situation, I would not have known how to speak or behave. However, over the past several months, we have been instructed on how to approach professional settings. We have been taught how to speak, stand, eat, and converse on a professional level. This past Wednesday, I was able to take what I have learned these past months and put it into practice.

A Lesson in Leadership with Dan Cathy

Once or twice a year, a few randomly selected students are invited by Dan Cathy to be his shadow for a few days as he visits different Chick-fil-A stores. His purpose for these visits is to embody the Chick-fil-A values of having people as their business, and the student’s purpose is to learn. Josiah Brown, Angel Foster and I had the opportunity to join Dan on one of these trips.  On Wednesday morning, all decked out in our corporate attire, we boarded the a small jet to begin our little adventure. We began to learn things immediately—Dan had us take notes on what we saw and experienced. And I was amazed.  Dan and his team are true servant leaders.  He looked people in the eyes, listened to their stories, “touched the tables” (as Dan would say), and did it all with excellence. Dan is not just the president of a four billion dollar company; he is a leader who sees small needs—like picking up trash wrappers and throwing them away—and leading his company by serving. What we learned this week was what professional, servant leadership looks like.  If we had not learned how to act in a professional setting, we would have been distracted and unable to take in the full experience.

IMPACT360 has taught us how to act in a professional setting and how to be servant leaders, and now, I have a model of such a leader in Dan Cathy. Thanks to IMPACT360, I am more equipped to go into the world and be a servant leader, even on a professional level.

Miriam Beard
Class of 2012