OK Mister Chick-fil-a

Can the OK Shepherd appreciate perfection while advocating for okayness as a favorable model for life and leadering? That was a rhetorical question but I'm still going to answer it: YES.

Yesterday I went to the Chick-fil-a with my tax credits to pick up lunch. As we were slow rolling through the loopty loop drive through, my attention turned to the patio. At that moment, it was 98 degrees. Even with umbrellas and a crowded dining room, nobody cared to eat outside. The patio was empty.

Still, I couldn't turn away because the umbrellas were aligned in perfect order, on every plane. If it was any other restaurant, I'd be surprised, but Chick-fil-a don't play. Corporate has quality control controlled. In the morning, some young chicken buck grabbed a protractor, muttered to no one in particular, "my pleasure", and made umbrellas interesting again.

Okayness is not about settling for less than correct. It is charged with a gentle acknowledgement that life, more often than not, does not care about your plans. Yet still, we can avoid nihilism and cynicism by owning what we can control and nailing it. The chicken buck on umbrella duty understood the intrinsic, understated, and still essential quality of the assignment. 

The chicken buck couldn't control the sun. But the umbrellas were nevertheless correct. It is low hanging fruit. Nobody will notice if you didn't use your protractor, but when you do, for that which you can control, somebody will notice, the credibility of your organization will be enhanced, and two days later OK Shepherds like me will still be talking about it.

The lesson in leadering is to do the best you can with what you got. That's the standard by which you will be judged. Yesterday at Chick-fil-a the sun was the sheep that ran away. They let it go so they could do umbrellas better.

It will be my pleasure to serve the next guest.