Friday, March 16, 2018

Chick-fil-A Marketing Copy (sample 3)

Marketing Copy for Chick-fil-A's In-House Awards Publication
Winning Operator's 'Symbol of Success' Write-Up

writing job requirements/parameters
- operator interview, write copy, collaborate
with operator re: edits, operator approval before 
submission of final copy
- word counts: intro-53, q&a's-55 (each), winning ideas-29
- billing hours (approximate): 3-4
Image result for chick fil a

Operator John Doe strongly recommends hiring a professional coach or doing graduate  
studies in executive leadership. The two years he spent earning his degree at the 
University were well worth his time, resulting in 50% growth at his Restaurant. John 
maintains, “There’s no way to do that organically.”

How do you best share Chick-fil-A’s Vision-Values?
Develop a Vision with a coach or mentor. Ours is stated in two sentences with four 
corresponding Values and printed on a 4’x8’ banner. We regularly discuss our Vision-
Values while coaching, teaching, mentoring, and disciplining. If your Leadership Team is 
aligned with the Vision, your Team Members will receives consistent messaging.

What steps are you taking to pursue business beyond the Restaurant?
These ideas are borrowed from Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. First, give your Team a 
perception of growth and progress by showing them a roadmap to success  Define how 
to get from here to there. Next, foster a community of connectedness within the store. 
Finally, share your Vision with everyone, everywhere.

Winning Idea

“Ask for help. You are the average of the five people you hang out with the most. If you’re 
the smartest within your circle, who’s bringing your average up?”

Winning Idea

“When your Team is happy to be at the Restaurant, the Values they emulate translate to 
the Community. Your Team naturally grows the business for you.”

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Chick-fil-A Marketing Copy (sample 2)

Marketing Copy for Chick-fil-A's In-House Awards Publication
Winning Operator's 'Champions Club' Write-Up

writing job requirements/parameters
- operator interview, write copy, collaborate
with operator re: edits, operator approval before 
submission of final copy
- word counts: quick tips-29, story-260
- billing hours (approximate): 4-5
Image result for chick fil a

Quick Tips

  1. Seeking advice from Operators whose Restaurants have higher volume is invaluable to grow your Restaurant.
  2. As long as you have a few people who care about the business as much as you, you’ll succeed.

John Doe began operating his second Restaurant on Oct. 1, 2016. That December, he 

began to laser focus on drive-thru; as a result, he won Symbol of Success in 2016.

Building on that momentum, John continued to invest in drive-thru throughout 2017, 
adding more order-takers as needed. He knew  finely tuned drive-thrus would minimize 
congestion in his lobbies, opening up the front counters up for more sales. Accordingly, 
front counter sales grew along with drive-thru sales.

Confident with their drive-thru process, John and his Team Leaders have decided to 
work toward a breakthrough with Chick-fil-A™ One in 2018. They’re excited about its 
potential to grow frequency of customer visits. They plan on educating current customers 
on the app and leveraging its features to encourage them to return more often.

With two Restaurants to run, John needed the full loyalty of his two top leaders. So in 
2017, he doubled their incomes and offered healthcare, effectively giving them career 
salaries with full ownership and autonomy. With such a large labor investment, John 
was certain his stores would be precluded from winning Champions Club. But his leaders 
—whose buy-in had changed in response to his generosity — didn’t accept his premise.
Wanting to win for him, they kept trying to find money and tighten labor. The Restaurants 
went into November with a 14 percent profit and then skyrocketed in December.

“You can’t outgive God,” John concludes. “I gave more than I had ever given before, 
accepted defeat, and it still came back with me achieving my dream.”

Chick-fil-A Marketing Copy (sample 1)

Marketing Copy for Chick-fil-A's In-House Awards Publication
Winning Operator's 'Champions Club' Write-Up

writing job requirements/parameters
- operator interview, write copy, collaborate
with operator re: edits, operator approval before 
submission of final copy
- word counts: quick tips-29, story-260
- billing hours (approximate): 4-5
Image result for chick fil a

Quick Tips:

1) Grow Well.  Pursue balanced excellence in all areas: sales, profit, CEM, talent, many dayparts, and many destinations.

2) Reinvent Continuously. Doubling sales in 3 years required reinventing leadership, training and wage structures as well as his own role.

After winning consecutive Symbol and Champions his first two years as an Operator, John 
Doe got back to the basics in 2017 by executing existing strategies with excellence and serving 
“hot, fresh food, fast, in a clean environment, with a smile, and a ‘My Pleasure’ every time, all 
the time.”

John Doe made evolutionary changes to strengths and revolutionary changes to weaknesses.
He applied his best lunch practices to dinner, cross-pollinated day and night TMs, and offered 
breakfast giveaways (peaking at 1,500 free entrees one morning) to build capacity and change 
a “slow breakfast” mindset.  These changes contributed to higher retention, high growth during 
the transition valleys and peak shoulders, busier dinners, consecutive $1M annual sales 
growth, and a Champions “three-peat.”

“Always stay ahead of the demands of growth,” John Doe advises. “We study teams that are 
where we want to be, then ‘Act as If’ we are already there in terms of organizational and  
service behaviors.”

“We learned to get good at innovation before we needed to be,” he adds, “So when demand 
caught up, we were working on implementing the next innovation.”

John Doe is proud to have reached his team’s Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal of transforming a 
$3M store into a $6M store in three years. He’s also proud of the five team members who 
received CFA Leader scholarships as well as his certified trainers who travel the country.  

In 2018, John Doe will continue to follow former Operator coach John Doe’s advice, “When you 
see the growth opportunity is there, put the pedal to the metal and don’t let up!”

Non-profit News Article: "Area residents take life changing mission trip"

News article written to benefit local non-profit organizations.

writing job requirements/parameters
- trip participant interviews, write copy, collaborate
with participants re: edits, participant approval before
final submission
- written gratis due to non-profit nature of article
- total hours (approximate): 8

GEMS (click HERE for more information)
Goats For The Old Goat

DAYS for Girls International
(click HERE for more information)
Days for Girls International

Published in Cross Timbers Gazette - click HERE for the link

Area residents take life changing mission trip

On a mission: Pam Moore (second from left), South Sudan’s Minister of Health Dr. Riek Gai Kok, Heather Olsen and Darrin Peterson.
by Susie Boyce Angerbauer, Contributing Writer
“Please thank your families for letting you come here. And thank them for recognizing that we’re human beings.”
This heartfelt parting statement, made by South Sudan’s Minister of Health Dr. Riek Gai Kok, was given to three southern Denton County residents as they departed South Sudan at the end of their humanitarian visit in February.
After a brutal 40-year war, the African country South Sudan, that gained its independence in 2011, is the world’s newest nation. In February of this year, famine was officially declared in two of South Sudan’s states. Famine has not been declared anywhere else in the world for the past six years.
Among other shocking statistics, for a region to be in a state of famine, one in every 5,000 inhabitants die every day. Because one-million inhabitants are currently on the brink of starvation, the official famine is expected to spread throughout many more South Sudanese states.
Two years ago, Fox News White House Correspondent Ellen Ratner contacted Founder and CEO of LifeSeasons Darrin Peterson (a Copper Canyon resident) to ask him to be Vice President of the non-profit she established to provide essential support for the South Sudanese. Her organization is called GEMS, which stands for Goats, Education, Medicine and Sustainability.
Peterson’s answer was an unequivocal: “yes!”
His visits to South Sudan have been transformative.
“South Sudanese mothers are faced with decisions none of us can even conceptualize,“ he explains, “Without the basic necessities of food, water and medical assistance, many mothers must decide which of their children to let live. When considering these and other dire situations I witness, I am firmly committed to use any means at my disposal for the welfare of this developing country and its remarkable, resilient citizens.”
Peterson has come to understand that the South Sudanese are good people who have fought unremittingly for freedom, but are also working exhaustively for survival.
President George W. Bush was highly instrumental in helping South Sudan win its independence and is, therefore, highly regarded among the South Sudanese. One educator in South Sudan explained that Bush was the “midwife” during the birth of their country.
As the country grows from infancy, its citizens do not need or wish for just a handout, but rather a hand up as they rebuild their country’s infrastructure after 40 years of war and genocide.
This February, Peterson and Ratner returned to South Sudan, this time joined by Chapter President Pam Moore (Highland Village) and Public Relations Board Member Heather Olsen (Double Oak) of the Highland Village Chapter of Days for Girls International– an organization created to empower girls and women worldwide with more dignity, health and safety through quality sustainable menstrual management.
During their visit, group members: administered medical and psychiatric aid to those suffering from PTSD, delivered goats purchased through donations to GEMS (one female goat can sustain a family for up to a year), distributed Days for Girls feminine hygiene kits (which allow South Sudanese females to attend school and work without missing a single day), and donated wheelchairs (also purchased through donations to GEMS) to polio victims.
Moore was deeply affected while visiting the women suffering from PTSD.

Darrin Peterson listens as a South Sudanese girl quietly whispers a prayer in his ear.

“These women have been traumatized by the war,” she said with deep emotion, “It’s hard to imagine all they have seen. The murders, rapes, starvation and brutality they have experienced for decades is incomprehensible. A new chamber has opened up in my heart for these people and I want to do whatever I can to help. In addition to many more kits, my hope is that we can help them set up micro-enterprises.”
Olson’s personal experience with a child proved to be life-changing.
“I met an infant in Aweil state who was visibly sick,” she said. “Her eyes were yellow and she had edema, which are often signs of malaria. I hated being unable to do anything for her there. Here, I could take her to Rapid Med, get medicine and be on our way.  Her family has no such luxury.  There was no clinic within 30-miles of her village and no transportation to get to a distant one. Most likely, there was no money to pay for medicine. So her face will be with me always and I pray for her survival against all odds.
“My trip to South Sudan has compelled me to act. I left feeling the need to bear witness of their sufferings and work to alleviate it as much as possible. I want to help people understand, because we have nothing to compare it to here. The South Sudanese are dying for lack of basic necessities.  I hold the belief that every person is a child of God who needs our help.”
South Sudan is on the other side of the world, but North Texans can still help.
For example, a local Flower Mound family contacted GEMS, asking how they could assist. With the partnership from a corporate charitable fund matching program, the family purchased one wheelchair for each polio victim in the state of Awei.
Because of one Flower Mound family, 14 South Sudanese polio survivors no longer have to drag themselves along the ground, wearing flip flops on their hands, to move from one place to another. The wheelchairs gave these survivors two precious gifts: mobility and dignity.
At the end of their visit, Peterson’s encounter with a young child has settled itself deep into his heart.
“While on my knees, hugging the children goodbye, a sweet little girl folded her hands and whispered in my ear,” he said. “She spoke Dinka and I spoke English, but our souls understood each other. Her simple prayer was, ‘God, please help these people help us.’  I can never forget my starving brothers and sisters in South Sudan.”
How To Help
Millions of South Sudanese citizens are in desperate need, and many North Texans are in a position to help in ways both large and small.
To learn more about ways to contribute time, money or resources, visit the GEMS website:, which offers several ways to donate, including purchasing goats, wheelchairs, and jewelry made by women suffering from PTSD.
For details about how to help GEMS with their current sustainability projects, email: or visit (international chapter); and, (local chapter’s email)—to learn how and where to help assemble, sew or donate items for feminine hygiene kits.

Professional Bio: Darrin Peterson, Founder and CEO of Life Seasons

Professional Bio for Darrin Peterson, Founder and CEO of

Darrin Peterson is a game changer.

He changed an industry by co-founding OrderDog, an internet startup, later voted  
“One of the top 25 ideas that changed the [natural products] industry.” Five years 
later, its founders and investors earned significant profits through a strategic merger.

Darrin's unique understanding of how natural supplements support good health 
motivated him to further elevate the industry by founding LifeSeasons. A leading 
manufacturer of nutritional supplements that combine the wisdom of nature with the 
progress of science, LifeSeasons is a multi-million dollar company whose innovative 
formulas are sold throughout the world.

He helps change and save lives daily as Vice President of GEMS, a nonprofit that 
provides life-sustaining support for the millions of starving people in South Sudan.

And last but absolutely first, Darrin's wife and ten (not a typo) children change Darrin's 
game the most, in all the best ways.

Click HERE for more information about LifeSeasons

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book Review - Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death & Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

My Take: 

This book was published in 2012, received lots of kudos and attention, and has been reviewed plenty. But since it’s my contention that this book is worthy of additional kudos and attention, I’m throwing my hat in the ring.

Katherine Boo, a journalist who won a Pulitzer for writing about poverty in the United States, fell in love with an Indian and moved to Mumbai.  She understood immediately that someone should bring the abject poverty of prosperous cities’ undercities to light; but being American, she felt unqualified.  

But she decided to try nonetheless.  Three years, one interpreter, hundreds of interviews, and hours of footage later, she wrote this book.  Since Katherine Boo uses actual words and phrasings of the slum dwellers, the prose is simple -- while managing to be incredibly powerful.

It’s almost incomprehensible to me that the stories in the book actually happened -- and that similar horrific experiences are very likely being played out in different parts of the world even as I write this review.  

Watching (from a virtual front seat) as the government exploits the poor, the poor exploit the poorer, and the poorer exploit the destitute -- all so that they will have money for food or urgent health care or basic education or to pay a bribe to free an unjustly accused family member from jail -- is both eye-opening and beyond heartbreaking.  Not to mention numerous untimely deaths that are a direct result of poor health and healthcare, abject poverty, and absolute desperation.

Moral absolutes, to me, have always seemed pretty much absolute.  But reading this book helped me (at least begin to) understand that if the high ground I have stood on all my life were to suddenly crumble beneath me -- and I had to decide between, say, saving my child’s life and doing something I have always considered reprehensible -- my moral absolutes might not be so absolute anymore.

Reading this book makes me want to take action, but I feel powerless and at a loss. The first step, though, is knowing -- so I guess I’ve taken that first step.

As Katherine Boo says in her Author’s Note (which is at the end of the book, but I strongly recommend reading it before the book itself):

"If the house is crooked and crumbling, and the land on
which it sits uneven, is it possible to make anything
lie straight?"

Overall, this book is unbelievably heartbreaking -- and it seems (contrary to the message in the title) that hope simply can’t be found in the lives of these people.  But I looked closely, and I found it. Not much, not often enough, but hope does exist.  

That some people in Annawadi are able to use such a small amount of hope to sustain them is a testament to the human spirit.  And to the power of hope.

That people live in such conditions is a testament that all is most definitely not right -- or fair -- with the world.

Highly Recommend

Goodreads Summary:

From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities.

In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting“ in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most-everything girl“—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”

But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.

With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dale Brannon - 20 Years of Pure Awesome

For my hero, Dale Brannon.

In February of 1989, my sister Debbie, a senior at Stillwater High School, was sitting in church when Dale, a freshman at Oklahoma State University, walked in alone and sat down. Mom nagged Debbie to “Be nice!” to him. 
So Debbie rolled her eyes (at Mom) and said “Hi” (to Dale).

As it turns out, Dale was quite a catch.  He was a sports super-star, a super smart pre-med student, and witty and charming to boot.  Before too long, Debbie began to suspect that she may just have met the man of her dreams.

That summer, Dale left for Georgia for two years to serve a mission for the Mormon church.  So naturally, Debbie took that opportunity to date as many other guys as she could.  But in the end, she concluded that none of 
them quite measured up to Dale.

So on December 27, 1991, Dale and Debbie got hitched.

And on October 26, 1992, Alexis Christine was born.

Dale was on track to attend medical school Fall of 1994, and began filling out medical school applications during the spring.  Then, on March 7, 1994, the truck Dale and a friend were traveling in hit a patch of black ice.  The truck rolled, Dale’s spine was severed between his 6th and 7th vertebra, and he became a quadriplegic. He was paralyzed from the chest down and left with extremely limited functions in his hands and arms.

Rehab lasted four months.  During the many dark hours and days and weeks, thousands of prayers were said by and in behalf of Debbie and Dale.  Those months were unimaginably difficult.  But one day and prayer at a time, they made it.

The Brannons returned to Oklahoma for Dale to finish his undergraduate classes.  His high grades and test scores made him a perfect medical school candidate, but his being a quadriplegic didn’t.  So despite his excellent credentials, Dale wasn’t accepted to any of the schools he applied to.  They didn’t know what to do with a quadriplegic.

Which deterred Dale not at all.  He tried again the next year, and was accepted into medical school at the University of Oklahoma.  Huge kudos to whomever was on that acceptance committee.

Medical school posed significant challenges for Dale, but he made it.  In June of 2001, Dale graduated and was chosen by his peers to give the speech at convocation.

During Dale’s first year of residency, a downed power line in the Brannon’s backyard started a fire, burning most of their home and causing significant smoke damage to their remaining belongings.  Insurance was willing to pay for housing while their house was being rebuilt, but there were no rental homes available that offered handicapped amenities.  So the Brannons lived in a hotel for two months, then bought and remodeled a house to live in until their house was ready. 

After years of praying and hoping that they could have just one more child, Debbie and Dale’s prayers were answered -- threefold.  On March 12, 2004, Debbie delivered the first set of triplets in the history of OKC hospitals that did not have to spend any time in the NICU.

Debbie, Dale and Alex were over the moon 
(and sleep-deprived for a solid year).

Just a few months later, on the last day of June, 2004, Dale finished his residency in Nuclear Medicine, specializing in PET CT.  Because of his skill set and excellent work ethic, Dale never had to look for a job -- offers came to him.  He started a private practice on July 1, 2004.  

Dale still has a small private practice, and now works full time at the OU Medical Center.  He’s the residency program coordinator for Nuclear Medicine, and on the admissions board for the medical school.

Over the years, I’ve watched Dale be a hero - every day.

He has consistently made decisions that have made - and still make - all the difference. He has chosen

Hard Work

and Laughter

This is what the Brannon family looks like today 
(they finally got their boy!).  

From a pure probability standpoint, this picture should look very different.  Statistics are solidly against the Brannon's marriage lasting after the accident (less than 5% of marriages do), of Dale being a doctor, or of the Brannons being blessed with the triplets.

This picture looks the way it does because of Dale.
One day and prayer at a time, he makes it possible.

Thank you, Dale, for showing us how to live 20 years of pure awesome.