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Strategic Discipline Blog

Monty Moran’s People, Leadership, and Priority Lessons

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Mar 8, 2021

Love Is Free. Guac is Extra, Monty MoranVerne Harnish hosted another virtual Summit with 3 speakers (click the link to watch the replay) on Wednesday, February 24th.

Monty Moran, former co-CEO of Chipotle, author, Love Is Free. Guac is Extra shared his energy, enthusiasm, powerful ideas on priorities, what your people want, plus great advice on leadership versus management.

What Your People Want

Leaders often fail to recognize what our people want is critical to increase productivity and our business performance.

People, Monty explained, want more than anything to be seen, valued, loved, and understood.

Moran was an attorney before he became Co-CEO of Chipotle. He felt the first thing he should do was to learn about the business. Incognito he entered the Chipotle MIT, Manger In Training program. Almost like Undercover Boss. Only the store manager knew who he was.

What he discovered revealed a wrong selection process. The right people weren’t enrolled in the management program. They were hiring managers from the fast-food industry, which made no sense. They weren’t trying to be a fast-food company.

Monty discovered Chipotle’s front-line people were awesome. They were passionate about their work, yet had no desire to move up. 80% of these were Hispanic. Why weren’t they becoming trainees, and moving into management?

Chipotle-LogoTo make Chipotle better required elevating the manager position to be the most powerful, coveted, and desired position in the company. At the time most mangers wanted to become division managers or supervisors over managers.

At 18:13 on the video, he asks, “Why are we training people how to clean tables, they know how to do it.”  

The reason staff doesn’t clean tables is a choice. The leader’s job is to make people feel encouraged by their circumstances.


By letting them know you understand them, value them, and care about them.

Yes, you’re going to challenge them, and continue to challenge them until they are the best version of themselves.

“They need to know you care so much about their performance, their future, their brilliance, their success, that you’ll stop at nothing to achieve that!”

Watch this 1-minute clip from Jayson Waller’s True Underdog Podcast on understanding.

Leader Vs. Manager

At 19:24 of the video Monty provides his definition of manager vs. leader: A MANAGER is somebody who gets someone else to do something the manager wants the person to do.

A LEADER is someone who helps others to do something for themselves, which also advances the leader’s cause.

At 19:42 Monty offers the Corina Story. He was told she was a restauranteur. He discovered she wasn’t, because her restaurant didn’t feel good. It felt like the military. Command and control. She had whipped them into shape, and her team looked whipped.

He shared the issues he saw: Trying to have all the answers, managing the hell out of them, command, and control. And yes, she was successful, but she wasn’t leading them. They didn’t believe in themselves, didn’t believe in her, and her team wasn’t doing things out of the joy of doing it, they were managed. They were doing something their manager wanted them to do, rather than doing something they themselves wanted to do, which would also advance Corina’s objectives.

Vulnerability Quote Brene BrownWatch at 21:20 to discover how Monte got her to change that? (3 things Love, Vulnerability and Truth.)

How do you become a leader?

Being curious and opening your heart.

Monty compared leadership vulnerability to Beauty and the Beast. The way the beast got Belle to love and kiss him was to become vulnerable. This is the same way Monty helped Corina become a Restaurateur, by sharing with her team she didn’t have all the answers and needed their help.

Priority Lessonpriority-stamp-resized-600

Leaders frequently struggle with priorities, and particularly what’s their most important priority? Their ONE THING. Monty quickly realized the one thing he could do to make an impact, was, well, not much. It was humbling! If you struggle with deciding on what your priority should be, view the video starting at 2:04 as Verne introduces a specific from Love Is Free. Guac is Extra, Chapter 7 on priorities.

Monty recognized it’s not about me, it’s about those he works with. Rather than him being his best, to make others more powerful, Monty prioritized empowering others to be their best. He determined to give his power away. The more he gave away the more he got (it’s like love!).

Monty realized he had to find a way for the GM in Chipotle to be the best person he/she could be, to empower them, and to hire the best. All the issues they were having he could never fix on his own. Instead, when Chipotle got the right managers, he wouldn’t have to fix them, the right managers would!

Developing the right leaders requires the right tools and resources.

How can your people help YOU achieve more? To create an environment where everyone is inspired to give their best, contact us today to schedule a free exploratory meeting.

Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Disciplined People Thought Action Chapter06-01-1To build an enduring great organization, requires disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action, to produce superior results, and make a distinctive impact in the world

Discipline sustains momentum, over a long period of time, laying the foundations for lasting endurance.

3 Disciplines of Execution (Strategic Discipline)-2A winning habit starts with 3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics and Meeting Rhythms.   Forecasting, accountability, individual, and team performance improve dramatically.

Meeting Rhythms achieve a disciplined focus on performance metrics to drive growth.

Let Positioning Systems help your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:












Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $250M) business Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing! Contact to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.

Mental health protection and careNEXT BLOG – Improve Your Mental Health

Many entrepreneurs do great jobs building their business yet fail to take care of themselves. Next blog, guest writer, Cristi Waterson, shares 6 ways How Entrepreneurs Can Improve their Mental Health3

Topics: People, People/Relationship Drivers, leadership, priority, Effective Leadership, Chipotle, Vulnerability, Monty Moran, Love is Free. Gauc is Extra

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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