Drive. Align. Shift. Spirit Driving Institute Blog by Leila Johnson

11Apr/11Off

Baja Fresh CEO David Kim – Honorary Spirit Driver

In April 2011, I was watching an episode of "Undercover Boss" where the CEO of Baja Fresh, David Kim, went undercover to work alongside his employees. I really enjoyed watching how the experience of going undercover transformed the way Mr. Kim interacted with his employees and his family.

Here's the letter that I enclosed with my autographed book:

I enjoyed watching your episode of “Undercover Boss” yesterday. It is by far one of my favorite shows on television today. As an entrepreneur, I enjoy seeing the story behind the leadership of well-known companies.

I was especially touched by what you said about success. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget about what is really important – relationships with parents, your family, and your overall experiences in life. Whenever I find myself focusing on material things, I take a step back to think about what is really important.

Since you are a religious and spiritual person, I wanted to give you this gift of my book, Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel. You embody a lot of the principles that I discuss.  You demonstrated how you recognize the Spirit of the people that work for Baja Fresh®. You understand that many of them have dreams and want to go further in their lives. I also liked the way that you asked about their personal lives and realized how much of an effect that can have on how they perform professionally. The gifts that you gave to your employees were invaluable. I'm sure that you made an impression on them that they will never forget.

Thank you for being a good example of the moral and caring CEOs in this world. I wish you continued success in your personal and professional life.

What is an Honorary Spirit Driver?

1Apr/11Off

Think People Don’t Care What CEOs Do?

Since my business is focused on Web design and development, I have seen a barrage of posts about the recent GoDaddy CEO elephant hunting video. For those that don't know, GoDaddy is well-known for their risque commercials to help promote, of all things, Web site hosting. They are also a VERY popular provider of many services related to the Web.

I have to admit that I do see both sides of the story. He was participating in the hunt as a part of a normal ritual to get rid of problem elephants and provide food for others. However, the video was quite graphic and involved hunting an endangered animal that many of us don't think of as a choice for providing sustenance. I'm not here to judge either side's motives.

Instead, I wanted to focus on the underlying message. PETA is encouraging people to move their Web sites away from GoDaddy. And Change.org has a petition that has been signed by over 3,500 people at the time of this blog post. There are many companies offering discounts and specials to GoDaddy customers that want to move their accounts. (Full disclosure: My company also jumped on the bandwagon with an offer to donate some of our hosting fees to PETA.)

I found these "urgings to move" to be interesting for several reasons:

  • CEOs that are well-known (almost celebrities) will be under more scrutiny when it comes to their personal lives.
  • Things that business owners do that are unrelated to their business have an effect on what their customers think of their business.
  • Even though we may not word it this way, we do care about the Spirit of the company and that of the person who is running it.

Bottom line, as business owners we all have to be on our p's and q's. The Internet makes it easy for people to watch your every move. My Spirit Driving Institute blog provides an outlet for me to voice my opinions on issues like this. I know how important it is to act with integrity because I never know who is watching. The same is true for my primary business.

What do you think? How much does a CEO's personal actions weigh on your opinion of the company?