Insights to Leadership from Cheryl A. Bachelder

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

popeyes_5218 - cheryl may 2012 w-out glasses_1 - 300x250The Business Pages: July/Aug 2013
“# Grit

Cheryl A. Bachelder, CEO, AFC Enterprises, Inc., Franchisor of Popeyes# Louisiana Kitchen, will speak at the Gwinnett Leadership Forum, on September 5, 2013.

Gwinnett Magazine gives you a preview of “insights to leadership” from this passionate restaurant industry executive who is responsible for system-wide revenues of $1.9 billion, over 2000 restaurants in 25 countries, more than 300 franchisees and over 60,000 restaurant employees.

GM: What is your secret to cultivating both Chiefs and Indians to form effective teams?

CB: “Teams that share a leadership perspective should come together around a common focus, such as a priority customer group, and make the actions of the team follow a defined and often talked about statement of principles. At AFC Enterprises, the priority customer is the franchisee. The executive leadership team spent two years exhibiting common behaviors that established the credibility now promoted as the company”s guiding principles.”#

GM: Do you feel having mentors in one”s career is important?

CB: “There is a distinction between coaches and mentors. Coaches supervise. They set expectations, evaluate performance and give feedback. A mentor should be outside the chain of command and speak truth – essential for career development. When working with a mentor, the burden falls to the mentee to own the experience, set the agenda and topics. As mentor, the key is to ask provocative questions, not shower others with your life experiences.”#

GM: Please share the pivotal learning experience that led you to where you are today.

CB: “You often hear it”s during difficult times that you learn the most – and true in my case. Within a short time period, the proverbial rug was pulled out from under me both professionally and physically. I was forced to define what kind of career I wanted and in doing so, I was able to declare who I am as a leader. Being a breast cancer survivor has given me a sense of urgency and purpose as a leader to take full advantage of every day.”#

GM: Describe your management philosophy.

CB: “I purposefully invest more time in growing an individual”s character, in addition to competencies. Through intentional leadership, I get to know the person and how to motivate that individual. The important results are these individuals are more engaged and hardworking, creating the highest order of business. As well, the enterprise benefits.”#

GM: Your executive bio describes you as a “crisp strategist.” Please explain.

CB: “I am exceptionally focused on a few important things and I talk about them all the time. For example, when arriving at AFC Enterprises, I established a “Roadmap for Success.” Strategy is your destination. Call out a strategy in crystal clear fashion. This gives individual team members the information needed to decide if they want to follow. You”re only a leader if you have followers. Also, I”ve found it”s always more important to decide what you”re going to say “No” to than “Yes.”#

GM: What will you share at the Gwinnett Leadership Forum, on September 5?

CB: “I plan to challenge participants to explore where they are in determining their own personal purpose in leadership. In my blog,, the post 10 Things I Love About You, captures my thoughts for cultivating others and is a preview of what business leaders planning to attend the Gwinnett Leadership Forum can expect to learn.”#


See Cheryl LIVE in Gwinnett!

What: The Gwinnett Leadership Forum

When: Thurs., Sept. 5, 2013 from 7:30-9 a.m.

Where: Busbee Center – on the campus of Gwinnett Technical College

Sponsors: Gwinnett Magazine, C. Thompson & Associates, Executive Advisor Group, Redpepper and bBold

Ticket Details:


Write A Comment