What Keeps Coke CEO Muhtar Kent Awake At Night

I recently attended the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast and had the opportunity to hear Coke CEO Muhtar Kent discuss leadership.  He made a statement that I have thought a lot about.

“What keeps me awake at night?  Arrogance.”

It is interesting that when you ask the head of one of the most successful companies of all-time what concerns him, it is arrogance.

I’ve seen many successful churches, sports teams, non-profits, and businesses reduced to irrelevancy in my lifetime.  The following are some of the behaviors that led to their demise:

  1. Leadership feels what they have done has always worked. Therefore, they refuse to change
  2. They don’t adjust their pricing because their product is “too valuable”. 
  3. They quit listening to their customers, and their employees.
  4. Staff and employees continually turn over but leadership us unconcerned.
  5. Over-indulgence is commonplace.
  6. Leaders lack self-awareness.  They are reckless and demeaning with their words and behaviors.
  7. Leadership lacks accountability.
  8. No one ever says “I’m sorry”.
  9. Leadership has no unfiltered-evaluation.
  10. The leaders think they are smarter than they really are.
  11. Complacency sets in.

Mr. Kent understands the biblical lesson that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16:18).”  He went on to say, “Carry your own bags.  When you lose that, you lose something.”

Humility, more than innovation, is the most important ingredient needed for organizational sustainability.  Therefore, spend more time on WHO you are becoming rather than WHAT you are creating. 

For more leadership lessons from the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast please check out these previous posts:

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

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