In the “Corporate World”, employees and shareholders are often working hard at a frantic pace towards improving the bottom line. The focus is typically on things like monthly, quarterly, and year-end closes, share price, valuations, new product/process innovations, launches, industry events, Gantt charts, quality, pricing, margins, sales, inventory, etc. It is an environment that can be highly-stressful at times as far too many Executive Leaders (and their employees) get caught-up in the corresponding frenzy that ensues. And this all comes far too often at the expense of all involved at all ranks. While many Executives are willing to sacrifice their employees (and even themselves at times), the truly great Executive Leaders are the ones who put other people first – including employees, customers, and the Board.
David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby, is one such example of an Executive who knows that you can’t successfully sustain a winning business without taking care of other people first. He has two founding principles – one about Honoring God first and foremost and the other about honoring people. Per, David, “Run your business in harmony with God’s laws. This will keep you on an ethical footing. Seek to please God in everything you do.” And, “Focus on people more than money. Without employees and customers, you’re going nowhere. Make sure you never stop thinking about the customer’s perspective. And make sure you have the right people at the helm of each area.”
In 1970, David and his Wife, Barbara, took-out a $600 loan to begin making miniature picture frames out of their home. After a couple of years, they opened a 300-square-foot Hobby Lobby store in Oklahoma City. They eventually grew to 900+ stores with 43,000+ employees, and operations in forty-seven (47) States. They are now the largest privately owned arts-and-crafts retailer in the world with 70,000+ items for sale with a corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City of 10 million+-square-feet of manufacturing, distribution, and office space.
There is a quote in “Corporate America” called, “say-do”. Typically, Executives will talk about what another Executive’s or employee’s “say-do” ratio is – meaning, how often does someone or a Company do what they say they were going to do. In this sense, David has a very high “say-do” ratio as David “puts his money where his mouth is.” What began as a $600 start-up has now become an $8+-billion Company. A Company that annually gives 50% of its profits away to various Christian and secular charities and related. In 2022, David and the Hobby Lobby Executive Leadership Team (ELT) chose to go one step further by giving away ownership of Hobby Lobby to God and others through what David calls a profound “joy in giving”. Green moved 100% of the company’s voting stock to a trust where the “stewardship” can continue to pass on to one person from another. Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays to Honor the Lord and His Sabbath. They close by 8 PM and are only open 66 hours per week. Employees feel valued at Hobby Lobby, because they are.
Chick-fil-A, another Christian Company, also closes its doors on Sundays to Honor the Lord. Anyone who has gone through the Management Training Program there will tell you that they had to run a retail restaurant location for at least six (6) months before they could progress into the Management ranks. By so doing, Executives truly-understand what the real needs of their employees and customers are. It is a form of “Servant Leadership” that has sustained Chick-fil-A through the years of successful growth. S. Truett Cathy, the Founder of Chick-fil-A, started by making chicken sandwiches from a tiny diner in Atlanta in 1946 and was infamously-known for his “heart for employees” and “deep love for customers”. His “say-do” ratio was also very high – e.g. since 1973, Chick-fil-A has given 80,000+ employees (or as they call them “restaurant Team Members”) $136+-million in college scholarships. They regularly give grants to local nonprofit Companies in the communities where they operate ranging from $50,000-$350,000. Today, Cathy’s legacy (founded on God) has led to the Company operating 2,875 restaurants in 49 States via 35,000+ employees and revenues of $11+-billion. By way of comparison, it is rumored in the “Corporate World” that McDonald’s makes about a $1-million average for each of its restaurants (with 13,341 locations in the U.S. alone) while the average Chick-fil-A restaurant makes $4+-million – and they’re only open six (6) days a week. Now, that’s taking care of the bottom line…
In David Green’s book, “Leadership Not By The Book“, David shares twelve (12) unconventional practices based on Biblical Principles that have driven and continue to drive the phenomenal success of Hobby Lobby. To David and the Hobby Lobby ELT, these core principles can open doors to greater success in business and in life while raising up and encouraging the next generation of Leaders. The book specifically highlights how breaking the conventional “rules” of business may be the best decision an Executive, employee, or Corporation may ever make.
At Maccabeus, we do our best to find Clients the best Executive for the job through competency-based interviewing that is much more “relational” than what many Executive Search Firms provide. We take the time to get to know our Clients, the Executives being considered for the job, and the Families of all of those involved. God commands that we put others before ourselves. One way of doing that is by implementing the Golden Rule – to do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. By actively-listening and engaging-directly with multiple Client Executives, we are able to form a more well-rounded perspective on both the tangible and intangible requirements of any search project. We go “beyond the job specification” to form a more intimate relationship with everyone involved and go where most other Executive Search Firms don’t take the time and effort to venture into. To us, life is about God and people first – if those two things are wrong, there isn’t going to be a healthy bottom line for sure.
By putting the needs of others (including Families) first, we are able to be very successful in our own right, as well. In 2022, for example, Maccabeus introduced Clients to 500+ Executives with 100% success, an average of 2.1 weeks to showing our Clients the Finalist for the role on 83+% of our searches at 40+% less costs than the industry average. And, we did so for Clients with revenues ranging from $10-million to $10+-billion and up to 21,000+ employees (both regionally and globally). For our Clients and the corresponding Executives, that’s keeping a very good eye on the bottom line by keeping an even better eye on God and the people involved. It’s one of the main reasons that our Clients come back to Maccabeus time and time again for their Executive needs.
Maccabeus’ Partners “Genesis-ed” from direct industry careers and actual working knowledge. It’s through that knowledge, experience, and wisdom that we’re able to maximize our own revelations of the Executive Recruiting process and minimize having to replace formerly placed Executives. We see each and every executive (person) as the Gift from God that they are and Maccabeus routinely works to get to know the Clients, Executives, and Executive’s Families first-hand. Maccabeus understands what it’s like to relocate for a new career challenge (including move Children and Grandparents) – to be going to a new Company starting a new job in a new town/city possibly in a new state/country (and away from extended Family) with potential new local and national customs and ways of doing business, etc. We’ve worked across the U.S. States and in many countries in North and South America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. We know how critical a new hire is and what success and/or failure in that role means first-hand.
In addition to elements from “Leadership Not By The Book”, Maccabeus leverages the “1.5-3 Principle”. By being straight-forward and honest with everyone, our Clients and Candidates typically meet each other within 1.5 – 3 weeks of starting a search project. Clients should also expect to complete searches with Maccabeus within 1.5 – 3 months. While our “shock-and-awe” approach in the market is industry leading, we continue to run “through the finish line” continuing to bring more Candidates to the Client throughout the process.
The highest integrity is key to all that we do at Maccabeus. We report first and foremost to God and then to our Clients and Executive Candidates. We are 100% transparent in our approach on all fronts. We tell everyone what we know and don’t try to “force” deals to take place. We fundamentally Trust that, if we are Faithful in working as hard as possible on our parts, that the outcomes that are meant to happen will. Maccabeus leverages many different approaches; including the principles found in “Leadership Not By The Book” by David Green.
Maccabeus doesn’t believe in any hidden, indirect, or uptick costs. Clients pay Maccabeus a fixed fee for an Executive search project. The fee is divided into a working retainer on the front end of the search (billed in multiple installments) to support our efforts in the market on Clients’ behalf(s); virtually eliminating surprises.
Maccabeus believes in God, our Firm, and our process. We will continue to work on the search as long as it takes and will replace Executives should something change on the Client’s end(s) for up to the replacement terms needed by our Clients. Finding the right Operating and Board Executives takes a tenacity to see through the surface of experiences and to look into the intangibles behind who a leader really is as a person. Maccabeus is committed to and has a strong track record of recruiting and placing to top Executives (for all functional areas) and Board Directors and Chairs across a diverse landscape of industries. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you and your Board.
“In all created things discern the providence and wisdom of God, and in all things give Him thanks.”St. Teresa of Avila