Rodney Bullard Cofounded the Chick-fil-A Foundation and Shares His Secrets to Success and Becoming A Hero in Your Community – BtG 015

Rodney Bullard Cofounded the Chick-fil-A Foundation and Shares His Secrets to Success and Becoming A Hero in Your Community – BtG 015

On the Show Today

Rodney Bullard

Chick-fil-A Foundation, Executive Director

What You Will Learn

  • Compassion and ambition and a desire to improve himself and help others summed up to leadership at the Air Force Academy
  • When there was no room on the team, he made his own mock trial team
  • Became All American Attorney on the mock trial team
  • Attended Duke Law
  • Leadership and networking or relationship building is a key to long-term success
  • Keeps connections strong by remembering birthdays
  • Duke Law Board of Governors
  • Volunteered for the bar association
  • Became White House Fellow
  • Worked as assistant US Attorney
  • Being an AUSA can be a job done in solitude
  • Need to have his foot in other places to maintain perspective
  • His foot in the world was doing public service in the city of Atlanta
    • Started a reentry program on the West Side of Atlanta to reduce recidivism
    • Added a literacy assistance program
  • A joke about Chick-fil-A led to an intro to Dan Cathy (Chick-fil-A President)
  • Corporations are needed to help change Atlanta by providing resources needed to change the community, especially West Side of Atlanta
  • Helped start the Chick-fil-A Foundation
  • Started the Discovery Center to improve financial literacy and entrepreneurship
    • Created a 20 lesson program in the school system to learn in class and in practice
    • Expanded to other facilities nationwide and 250,000 children per year go through the program annually
    • Foundation has touched over 5 million children nationally
  • Created leaders academy to teach leadership lessons
  • Developed Chick-fil-A Fellowship modeled after White House Fellowship
  • Working with other corporations to do more work together than they could alone
  • Regular meetings for 250 plus people working on improving the West Side of Atlanta to improve collaboration between groups and efforts
    • It’s the gateway for people who want to help serve on or help the west side of Atlanta
  • Characteristics to succeed as a social entrepreneur
    • Have to be willing to partner with people
    • Create a vision and a strategy and articulate it
    • Need organization like West Side Future Fund
    • Humility to work with others instead of starting your own thing
  • Do good as you do well – money brings influence
  • Nonprofit organizations are a great place to serve and network with influential professionals
  • Community development work is leadership in the community
  • Overcome the soft bigotry of low expectations
  • You can be a hero in your community and start by being a friend
  • Be your authentic self
    • Doing that helped Rodney be comfortable sharing his faith as a Christian
    • Same conviction inspired people like MLK, Rosa Parks and others in the Black community over time

Rodney Bullard is the Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. Prior to that, he got his law degree at Duke Law School and had a career as an attorney in the Air Force. Following a successful Air Force career, he was an Assistant US Attorney in Atlanta.

It was in this position that he started on the path that would lead him to Chick-fil-A. His supervising attorney shared with him that they could not jail their community past its issues. That led to developing a number of programs to serve the community. The success he had working in the community came up in a chance opportunity to meet Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A.

Dan was so impressed by what Rodney had done at a time in his life when he was looking to see how he could be a blessing and give back to the community. He chose Rodney to lead the Foundation he was creating and the rest is history.

Through a number of programs, the foundation is improving the West Side of Atlanta, which is an impoverished area of the city. They partner with other corporations and community leaders to do things like teaching leadership and financial literacy to the youth of the city.

The success he’s had impacting the community has led to a system Rodney has for being a hero and he’s written a book about it called Heroes Wanted. In the book, he discusses how to be a hero starting with the 3 feet around you and your local community. Then if you have the chance, you can have an impact that spans the country or the world.

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TQ Senkungu

I'm a husband, father of 3 boys, Christian, and man who learned from my parents early on that there is so much we can do to help others. My experience from the USAF Academy, serving in the military, working in my own business, as well as corporate, has taught me a ton about leadership and developing others and Breaking the Glass is a legacy project to pull all of those experiences together and give back.

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