Dee Ann Turner made her career at Chick-fil-A, but her impact today goes well beyond one of the world’s most successful and culturally distinct fast food chains. Join us as we learn from Dee Ann about finding purpose, growing skills, and much more.
Dee Ann Turner was selected as Chick-fil-A’s first female officer in 2001, serving as Vice President of Talent and Vice President of Sustainability in close collaboration with founder Truett Cathy. Under her leadership, Chick-fil-A enjoyed industry-leading employee engagement scores and became known for selecting the best talent in the hospitality business, maintaining a 95% retention rate for corporate staff and franchisees.
Today, Dee Ann leads her own organization and is the proud author of two bestselling books: Bet On Talent, which teaches leaders how to find and keep extraordinary talent, as well as her latest book, Crush Your Career, also the name of her podcast which teaches talent how to be extraordinary.
[9:06] - Use It or Lose It
Grow your gifts or watch them fade
Dee Ann believes in a ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’ approach to gifts and talents. You’ve got to put in the work, even if you have a natural gut instinct or innate talent. You have to develop your character, your experience, and all of the things that turn talent into something that gets tangible results.
[13:40] - Wisdom from the Founder
Truett Cathy’s most powerful advice to Dee Ann
In 2014, Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy told Dee Ann: “People decisions are the most important decisions a leader makes.” That message has come to define Dee Ann’s mission and approach, from her book Bet On Talent and beyond.
[21:31] - Advice for the Stuck
Dee Ann’s guidance for anyone looking to take the first step toward purpose
If you want to find your purpose, begin with your passion. What gets you up in the morning? What fires you up? From there, talk to the people who know you best— ask what you do best. What gifts do they see in you? Between your passions and your skills, you may just be able to find the beginnings of your path.
[25:20] - Purpose in Work?
Does your career need to be a central source of fulfillment?
Paul asks Dee Ann whether she thinks that a purposeful career is essential to a fulfilled life. Her response? Not at first— but “you spend a lot of time working for it to not align at all with your purpose.” It’s okay to simply pay the bills for now, but you should always have your sights set on a future moment when your work is more aligned with your life’s purpose.
[32:57] - The Essentials
Dee Ann’s list of the most important life skills
Dee Ann believes that some of life’s most important skills begin at home, in the family setting. First, a set of core values to live by. Second, preparation for the trials of life. Third, an ability to communicate effectively with the people around you. And finally, a comfort with who you are. With these four skills, you’re on a trajectory for a life full of accomplishment guided by your Why.