When Bachelder was named CEO of Popeyes in the fall of 2007, guest visits had been declining for years, restaurant sales and profit trends were negative, and the company stock price had dropped from $34 in 2002 to $13. Read more...
When Bachelder was named CEO of Popeyes in the fall of 2007, guest visits had been declining for years, restaurant sales and profit trends were negative, and the company stock price had dropped from $34 in 2002 to $13. The brand was stagnant, and relations between the company and its franchise owners were strained.
By 2014, average restaurant sales were up 25 percent, and profits were up 40 percent. Popeyes' market share had grown from 14 percent to 21 percent, and the stock price was over $40. The franchisees were so pleased with the turnaround that they began reinvesting in the brand, rapidly remodeling restaurants, and building new units around the world.
The difference maker, Bachelder says, was a conscious decision to lead in a new way. She and her team created a workplace where people were treated with respect and dignity yet challenged to perform at the highest level. Silos and self were set aside in favor of collaboration and team play. And the results were measured with rigor and discipline. Servant leadership is sometimes derided as soft or ineffective, but this book shows that it's actually challenging and tough minded a daring path. Bachelder takes you firsthand through the transformation of Popeyes and shows how a leader at any level can become a Dare-to-Serve leader. "
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Bachelder, CEO of the Popeyes restaurant chain, provides a slim, unsatisfying guide to leading for the good of your employees. After being fired from KFC, Bachelder found herself at a crisis point; soon thereafter, she was offered the position at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. But the job came with its own difficulties, as she immediately faced leadership distrust, employee unhappiness, and a company-wide need for an attitude adjustment. Bachelder proposed a radically new approach: servant leadership, meaning that the company would shift focus from her to the people she was leading. According to the book, this kind of selfless service might be most associated with non-profit and charity work, but it can and should be applied to businesses as well. As Bachelder explains, it did indeed lead to the turnaround of the Popeyes chain; Bachelder goes on to describe the possible benefits for other executives, which include finding a renewed sense of meaning in one's work, clarity of purpose, and improved teamwork. She also makes the case for avoiding the spotlight in favor of letting rank-and-file employees do noteworthy work. All of this is to the good, but ultimately the material feels stretched thin; readers will have to skim and glean the lessons for which they're searching. (Mar.)