The daughter of Chick-fil-A’s founder is revealing some valuable life lessons from her father and the source of the company’s impressive success.
Trudy Cathy White’s new book, “Climb Every Mountain: Finding God Faithful in the Journey of Life,” highlights her life as child in the Cathy household and difficult experiences she has had to overcome. At the center of it all is her faith in Jesus Christ.
So what’s behind the massive success of the Chick-fil-A company founder by her father S. Truett Cathy? She says it’s just God’s blessing.
Chick-fil-A is one of the most successful food chains in the US, earning the dedication of patrons and the regular praise of fans on social media. It’s a company known for its commitment to traditional Christian values which has made it a target.
“We feel like the Lord is just giving us more and more opportunity of responsibility to manage what He’s entrusted to us,” White explained in an interview. “That’s truth in all of life. We have to realize that the very God who created us is the very God who gives us talents and gifts to be used, to honor Him.”
“My dad built this business based on biblical principles. He felt like his business decisions kind of go hand in hand with biblical principles. That’s no secret. There’s a lot of things that we are taught in God’s Word and we’ve been able to put it into practice in our business,” White said. “We’re in business to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that’s been trusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
And White can’t say enough about the valuable biblical lessons she learned from her parents.
“One of the things that my parents taught us is that the important things can’t be bought with dollars and cents. The important things in life are people looking for joy, peace and hope, and you won’t find those things for sale or in a store. Those things you will find in the truth of God’s Word and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” White said.
“Jesus said in this life you will have trouble. He didn’t say you might, He said you will. We all have trouble. But then, in that same book of the Bible, it goes on to say, ‘do not be afraid’ (John 14:27) for ‘I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33),” she explains.
White, Cathy’s only daughter, was 19 when she was given a restaurant by her father to manage. She met her husband at the restaurant, and they now have four children.
After serving at Chick-fil-A for a while, the couple moved to Brazil to serve as missionaries. They have pioneered two non-profit organizations: Lifeshape and Impact 360 Institute. Lifeshape participates in numerous service projects across the world, and Impact 360 Institute grants gap-year fellowships to support young adults “to become Christ-centered servant leaders.”
In her book, White shares of her struggles, but shares how faith taught as a child has significantly helped her.
“I was raised in a home where I was taught much about the love of God. I was about 7-and-a-half when I realized I wanted to embrace the kind of love that I had heard about from this Heavenly Father,” said White. “I knew that Jesus loves me, that He had died on the cross for me, and that He was offering me the gift of eternal life. I knew that if I would believe that, I would receive that.”
White shares that part of the great Christian foundation she received as a child included her father’s lesson of sharing the love of God with others.
“I think one of the things that my dad taught me was how to care for other people. My dad told me this since I was a little girl, he said, ‘Trudy, if you will help others get what they want in life, you will eventually get what you want out of life,'” said White. “Dad helped me understand this concept that we can look at others and see what their needs are and help them to accomplish what they want to accomplish, and we’ll find some great reward out of that. Jesus said it real simple. He said, ‘It’s better to give than to receive’.”
Some say business is all about the bottom line – making money – but White says God has a different bottom line.
“We love selling chicken but we’re really more in the people business,” she said.
Chick-fil-A has seen consistent growth over the years. Multiple news reports have highlighted Cathy’s lessons on caring for others. Business Insider attributed Chick-fil-A success to their care for employees, applauding the company’s stance on covering worker’s education and support in following their dreams. Forbes reiterated Chick-fil-A’s care for employees as the reason for happy customers.
–Metro Voice and wire services