ECU College of Business Cunanan Lecture Series: James Morgan


(upbeat music) – Good afternoon! – [Audience] Good afternoon. – I’m Stan Eakins. I’m the Dean of the College of Business and it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Cunanan Leadership Speaker Series this afternoon featuring Jim Morgan, Chairman, President and CEO
of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. This event has been a collaborative effort of many people and groups
across the University. Two such people are ECU
Alums Steve and Ellen Cunanan who have provided financial
support for the speaker series. They understand the importance of hearing from the great leaders of our time, of opening our minds to
new ideas and thoughts and of supporting education in the true broadest sense of the word. We are grateful for their support. As many of you know,
the College of Business has put leadership
development front and center in its curriculum. In this competitive job market, it simply isn’t enough to
know business fundamentals and subjects. Graduates from schools
from all over the country can compute net present values
and prepare balance sheets. You need to bring something
different and special to the table to capture
those top job opportunities. The college listened to
employers and developed a leadership program that
covers topics they felt would most enhance our business graduates. To my knowledge, we have the
most robust leadership program in the country. This lecture series supports
our leadership program. Now to introduce our speaker
today, is Amanda Tilley. Amanda is the owner/operator
of the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in Greenville, Goldsboro and
Rocky Mount, North Carolina. She has been with the company
full time for 21 years serving in a variety of roles including Fundraising
Coordinator, Shop Manager and Route Salesman. She currently serves on Krispy
Kreme Doughnuts Corporation’s Franchise Advisory Council and
Marketing Advisory Committee. She earned her undergraduate degrees from the University of North
Carolina – Chapel Hill in 1990 and her Master’s degree from
East Carolina University in 2003. Please welcome Amanda Tilley. – Good afternoon. It is my privilege, and I
use that word intentionally, to have worked with Jim Morgan and to watch the
transformation of Krispy Kreme since his tenure as President and CEO. I am glad he is hear today
to share his thoughts on leadership, specifically
pursuing a passion. Jim draws from a wealth of experience. He has served as a member
of the Board of Directors for Krispy Kreme since 2000, as Chairman of the Board since 2005, and as President and CEO since 2008. Prior to his time with Krispy Kreme, Mr. Morgan served as Chairman
and CEO of Wachovia Securities and Chairman and CEO of Interstate Johnson Lane Incorporated, an investment banking and brokerage firm. He is currently a director for Coca Cola Bottling
Company Consolidated. In addition, he has held
leadership positions in various civic organizations
including Trustee of YMCA of Greater Charlotte, Director of Youth
Commission International, past President of the
Vanderbilt University Alumni Association and past member of the Vanderbilt University
Board of Trust and, as you may have guessed, he is a graduate of Vanderbilt University. Under Jim’s leadership, Krispy Kreme successfully
navigated one of the most challenging periods in the
company’s 75 year history. He has inspired, developed, and recruited a talented team of people that understand if an organization focuses
on the right things, then success will follow. Some of the recent successes include: in operations, 16 consecutive quarters of positive same store company sales; in marketing, the development
of the hot light app which celebrated its one
year anniversary in December and we have over 4.6
million fans on Facebook. In governance, Krispy Kreme
was recognized as the 2012 Government Team of the Year
for small to mid cap businesses by Corporate Secretary, the leading governance and
compliance publication. Krispy Kreme currently
operates over 700 stores in 21 countries. Please join me in welcoming Jim Morgan. (audience applause) – Good afternoon. It is great to be here with y’all. I am, talking about privileged, Amanda, I am privileged to be here. I’ve been a big fan of this
university for a long time. I’ve had great friends
that graduated here. Some of the, quite frankly
some of the superstars of my Interstate Johnson Lane background were East Carolina graduates. I work with Amanda now who
got her business degree here. I’ve got, y’all have
had distinguished alumni that are all over the
country now as you know. I got to see just a little
while ago a younger friend of mine who I claim as a friend, I’m a good friend of his
father’s, grandfather’s, so, Cody, it was good seeing you. So I’ve just got lots of ties here that make me feel very special. Speaking of ties, I did
find a tie that I thought would be appropriate for the campus too. So I enjoy being a member
of your group today and I’m delighted to be here. I do wanna share one
thing and I’ll say this in the best way that I can, when I make talks regardless
of what the subject is, it’s very difficult for
me to separate my thoughts from my faith. It just happens to, in my life, faith is the center of my life
and I’m centered in my faith. My faith happens to be Christian
so what I’d like to say in the beginning is I may
allude to that once or twice. If I do, those of you who are
Christian will understand it, I think, and identify with it. Those of you who are of another faith, what I hope is that you’ll
be able to take what I say and identify it and apply
it to your own faith and those of you who were
faith is not a central part of your life I still hope
there’ll be applicable thoughts within that part of my comments that will be valuable to you. So I just wanna kind of share
that with you in advance. I wanna start off, I chose
a title Pursuing a Passion, and I’m gonna read a story
to you that’ll sort of be the opening part of why I chose that title and why I think pursuing
a passion is so critical in your life toward success
and toward leadership. So here’s a little story
that I’ll read to start off. There was an American investment banker and he was at the pier of a
small coastal Mexican village with a small boat with one fisherman in it docked at the pier where he was standing. Inside the small boat were
several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented
the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked him how long had it taken to catch ’em. The Mexican replied, “Well,
only a little while.” The American then asked well then why didn’t he stay out
longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said that this
was all he needed to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “But what do you do with
the rest of your time?” The Mexican fisherman then said, “Well, I sleep late, fish a
little, play with my children, “take a siesta with my wife, Maria. “I stroll into the village each evening “where I play the guitar with my amigos. “I actually have a very
full and busy life.” Well, the American sort of
scoffed at him and said, “You don’t understand. “I’m a Harvard MBA and I
believe I can help you. “You should spend more time
fishing and with the proceeds, “buy a bigger boat. “With the proceeds from the bigger boat, “you could buy several boats. “Eventually you would have
a fleet of fishing boats. “Instead of selling your
catch to a middle man, “you would sell directly to the processor, “eventually opening your own cannery. “You would control the
product, processing, “and distribution. “You would need to leave this
small coastal fishing village “eventually and move
probably to Mexico City, “maybe then to LA and,
finally, to New York City, “and from there you could
run this expanding enterprise “that you developed.” The Mexican fisherman
looked at him and said, “Well, how long will all that take?” The American replied,
“Maybe 15 to 20 years.” The Mexican fisherman said,
“Well, then what after that? “What’s next?” And the American just laughed and said, “Hey, that’s the best part of all. “When the time is right, “you would announce an initial
public offering, an IPO, “sell your company’s stock to the public “and become very rich. “You would make many millions.” The Mexican looked at
him and said, “Millions? “Well, then what?” The American then said,
“Well, you could retire. “You could move to a small
coastal fishing village “where you could sleep
late, fish a little, “play with your kids, take
a siesta with your wife, “stroll to the village in
the evenings where you could “play your guitar with your amigos.” Now, I want you to think about that story. That’s what I worry about some of us do when we’re going through
college to get out of college and that we’re gonna go
chase somebody else’s idea of what we should do with our life and what the Mexican
fisherman’s saying is, “I’m living out my passion right here. “I’m doing what I wanna do. “I’m sleeping late, I’m fishing a little, “I’ve got time with friends,
I’ve got time with family, “and I’ve got time with my guitar.” So the circuitous route through
which he was being advised to end up right where he
had begun is not necessary. Now most of us have different passions than what he may have
had but I promise you, now’s the time for you to think about what those passions are and think about how you can pursue ’em
and through pursuing ’em, how you can make a living
and have a livelihood. It is my feeling that if
you don’t pursue a passion in your life with the
career part of your life, if you don’t, you won’t
be pursuing your dreams, and if you’re not pursuing your dreams, you’re either pursuing
somebody else’s dreams or you’re pursuing somebody
else’s dreams for you. You might ask, “Well, how do I know what
I have a passion for?” The answer is you might not
know yet but you will know. You will know when you get
out into the work world. You’ll know whether you’re passionate about what you’re doing. I sort of have three
guides that I think about when I’m trying to figure it
out, three elements of my day, and I have had these in some of my career and I’ve not had ’em in
others but the three things that I try to concentrate on, ’cause once you’ve been out in the world and you’re working and you’re employed, when you wake up in the morning, ask yourself three questions – Am I excited about what
I’m gonna do today? Question one. Question two, do I enjoy the people with
whom I’m going to be doing it? And question three, am I proud of the platform
of which I’m a part? Now everyday, you can’t be
excited ’cause some days just aren’t as much fun as
others but by and large, you should be able to say yes to all three of those questions and if you’re not excited
about what you’re doing and you’re not enjoying the
people you’re doing it with who, by the way, you will spend
more of your waking hours with than you do your immediate
family and if you’re not proud of what you’re a part of, then I’m not real sure why
you’re spending your time and energy the way you are
and I will strongly urge you to back off and think
because that would tell me that you’re not pursuing a
true passion in your life. Why do I think pursuing
a passion’s important? Because I think the happier you are and the more passionate you
are about what you’re doing, the greater chance there is in your life to provide leadership to others. I think that when you put yourself into it with love and passion, you’re gonna be more effective, you’re gonna become more real and you’re gonna be admired more and you’re gonna be followed more easily. I have my own definition of leadership and it’s an easy one to remember. I heard it many years ago
so it’s not original with me but it’s one that has stuck
with me and it’s this, very simply this – a leader is someone who takes you places that you could not possibly
have reached on your own. A leader is someone who takes you places you could not have possibly
reached on your own. So how do you evolve into that leader that’s taking people places
that they could not get without you and one is to
take yourself there first. Find a way to get yourself there first. So in thinking about that, in thinking about living out a passion, I thought what I would do today is share some of my own mistakes, see what, hopefully, you could learn from those
and share some thoughts that I have learned the hard
way about how to live a life that’s truly fulfilled and how to end up in a position of leadership
under the right definition and, quite frankly, how to be successful under
the right definition. So I’m gonna give you 10, what I call, my personal keys to living and hopefully some of them will be applicable to you. The first one is very simply
what I just talked about, the first one is, whatever you do, don’t pursue fame or fortune
as your reason for living. Pursue a passion in your
life, a passion in your life, and hopefully that passion
will end up making a difference in the lives of others. If you don’t pursue fame or fortune, instead you pursue a passion
and love what you’re doing, one of two things is gonna happen – you’re either going to,
because you love it so much, you’re gonna be so much better at it, you’re gonna be so
effective and so successful, you gonna have all the
fame and fortune and titles that you ever dreamed of or
you’re not and it won’t matter. It will not matter because
you’re happy in what you’re doing and there’s joy in your life. So that’s number one. Number two. Don’t ever get confused about how success should be measured. Success is measured by who you are, not what you do or accomplish. The best example I can give
you that’s outta my own life – when I was at Vanderbilt, it was Vietnam time so I
enrolled in Naval ROTC. I knew I was gonna be
drafted at the end of college and I decided I’d rather go into the Navy as an officer than be drafted. So I enrolled in Naval ROTC. I was assigned to the oldest
ship in the Atlantic fleet in the US Navy. Looking back on it, it was
probably a ship of fools but it was a bunch of fun
fools so that was nice. I had two captains during
my three years on that ship. My first captain was
an Annapolis graduate. Tall, erect, he had presence
when he walked in a room, nothing was more important
to him than making Admiral, ending up in the Pentagon and really making a name for himself. The sad thing is, is he was
willing to strive for that goal at the expense of anyone and everyone. When he was unhappy with someone, he chewed ’em out in
front of everyone else. He undermined their authority, he undermined what we thought of him and he destroyed the morale on that ship. He treated the enlisted
people like they were a relegated group. He never appreciated what
was done around the ship. He never appreciated how
hard people worked for him and he really literally
only thought about himself and his career. Fortunately, after a year and a half, it was time for him to move on. A new captain came on board. Now you’d have to have
been in the military to appreciate this but when you have a change of command on a ship, it is a big deal. It was summertime so we all put
on our dress white uniforms, we go out on the deck of the ship. I was on a big ship, about 500 feet long. You had the change of command
ceremony with lots of regalia, flags, et cetera, and then all the officers
would go to the ward room where we would meet and the
new captain would come in and he would kind of lay
down the law about what life on the ship was gonna be like under him. So we all dismissed to the
ward room, we’d wait on him, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45
minutes, he didn’t show up. We were wondering what
in the world is going on. All of a sudden the door
to the ward room opens and here’s this, anybody
familiar with Columbo? Am I dating myself? Do you remember the
television series Columbo? Okay, a few of you do. He looked like Columbo in
a Naval uniform coming in. Now this disheveled guy, his cover was on about half crooked, he’s in his undressed
khakis and he walks in, he looks around and he says, “Oh my gosh, I meant to tell you all “to get comfortable before we met.” So we’re all at attention. He says, at ease and he shared with us why he was in the Navy. He was a Commander just like, excuse me, a full board Captain just like
my previous Captain had been but he said, you know what? I’ve already been passed over. I’ve been turned down for Admiral. I’m not gonna make Admiral. He said, I’m here ’cause I love the Navy. I love what I do and I love
being here and he said, this ship’s in good shape. Y’all doing a great job. All I’m gonna ask is that
you keep doing a great job. Those were his orders. Those were his instructions. So we all dismissed and
went around, of course, we all ended up talking about him all day; Hopefully, not gossiping
but talking about him and saying this is gonna
be really different. I was what they called
the Senior Watch Officer which meant that I was
the Senior Watch Officer on the bridge of a ship. I don’t wanna tell you
more than you need to know but what you need to understand is when you go out from a harbor, it’s tough maneuvering
and you have what you call sea and anchor detail. So if you’ve seen pictures of ships, you’ve got what are called two wings. So the Captain would be on one
wing and I was on the other as the Senior Watch Officer. So we take our first exit on a voyage, we were going over to the Mediterranean. We’d had a training cruise
where we had been out but this was the first full voyage where we’d be gone for seven months. We get out in open water. We’re on the way. The Captain comes into the, inside, asked me to meet him there. He says, “Mr. Morgan, are you ready
to take the (inaudible)?” Yes, sir. He said, “Do you have your
O.D.’s ready for the watches?” Yes, sir. He said, “I’m going down to my sea cabin. “You call me if you need me.” So it was time to change the
watch about an hour later. The junior officer comes
up that’s gonna relieve me. I go to what we call the
standing night orders. They’re the bible of underway
sea so it’s a big book right by the red phone that
goes straight to the Captain. I open ’em up and they are empty. There wasn’t a word written in them. He’d left no instructions and normally just to give you a sense, your Captain tells you, let me know if another ship
passes within five miles. Let me know if the wind
gets over 15 knots. All these instructions are in there. There was nothing so I pick
up the red phone and I say, and he picks it up in his cabin, I say, “Captain, Lieutenant Morgan here. “I was turning over the
watch to Lieutenant Hobby “but there are no instructions “in the standing night orders.” Typical Columbo, “Oh,
did I forget to do that?” He said, “I’ll do that and
if you’ll bring it down, “I’ll do it now.” He said, “Are you okay
with Lieutenant Hobby, “taking the watch without him?” I said, “Yes, sir.” He said, “Well, if you’ll bring ’em down.” So I take ’em down and I’ll
never forget this moment. So I walk in his cabin. He puts me at ease, I hand him the night order
book for him to fill out and he says, “Mr. Morgan,
let me tell you something.” He says, “I watched you
during our training cruise “and I watched you coming
out sea and anchor,” and he said, “I trust you.” He said, “You’re my Senior
Watch officer and I trust you.” He said, “So here are
my instructions to you “regardless of what I write in this book.” He said, “If you’re not
worried, if you’re comfortable, “don’t call me.” And he said, “If
something were to go wrong “in spite of that, “I’ll have your back, I’ll defend you. “It’ll be my responsibility.” He said, “But if you’re
the least bit worried, “the least bit worried, you
call me and I’ll come running, “I’ll be at your side.” And he said, “We’ll do it together.” He said, “Those are your
instructions no matter “what I write.” That was leadership. The confidence he instilled in me, I’ll never forget to this day. I was 22 years old, a ship with 500 people
on it in open waters and he was saying, and he had
the ultimate responsibility, and he said, “I trust you. “Go do it but I’m there if you need me.” Well, I’m gonna ask you a question. The first Captain ended up making Admiral. He made it to the Pentagon
and he was a pretty big wheel. The second Captain retired as a Captain to unknown parts in the
mountains, believe it or not, of North Carolina, north of
Asheville, North Carolina, never to be seen again except by me. Which one was a success? The one that made Admiral,
made it to the Pentagon, or the one that retired
unknown to everyone other than those that worked for him? Which one was a true leader? In my opinion, there’s no question that my second Captain,
whose name was John Mallard, was not only the success of the two but he was the leader of the two. So don’t be confused about
how to measure success. Three, learn the difference
between an inner joy that is permanent and outward
happiness that is fleeting. And the only brief thing
I say about that is, I used to think that the
happiness that came from success and being able to buy
the right car for my wife and live in the right house
was how I measured my success and it took me a long time to realize that if I separated myself from people, I was not really happy no matter what tangible
things came my way, that where my life was most joyful was when I was with people
and so just remember there’s gonna be something
in your life that makes you, gives you inner joy and
that’s what you need to see, not the external happiness. There’s an old saying
that say you make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give. I think it’s worth remembering that. You make a living by what
you get but you make a life by what you give. Fourth, seek out a mission that is greater than whatever surface goals
you may think are there and that includes
whatever corporate entity you may go into or whatever
career you may go into. When Amanda and I first got together, I came in five years ago
to the corporate side, she’s one of our premier
franchisees, as a matter of fact, I’ve told many people I
think she’s the best operator in the country. She was doing great,
corporate was doing terribly and I spent a lot of time
with the people at corporate and we’ve got 4,000
employees and I asked them, I said, “What do you think
our mission is all about?” Of course they looked
at me like I was crazy. They said, “You’ve come
in to help the company “and you don’t even know what
we’re supposed to be doing?” He said, “Our mission is
to sell more doughnuts. “We got to start making
some money and get ourselves “out of this jam.” At the time, by the way,
Krispy Kreme was coming out of a pretty tough period. We had no money. We had 100 million plus of
debt, no positive cash flow, we were in violation
of our loan covenants, we had been sued, Amanda, you can help me, we were being sued by shareholders, we had a derivative lawsuit, we had some franchisees that had sued us, we were being investigated by the SEC, that’s the Security Exchange Commission, not the South Eastern Conference and on criminal and civil charges, we were being investigated
by the justice department of New York State on the same basis, we’ve been sued by (inaudible). It wasn’t a great time
and we had no mission and so I surveyed it and found that out and when I had my first all team member, which is a group sort of like this, we got together and I told ’em, I said, I’ve gone around, I’ve ask y’all what our
mission is and almost every one of you told me it’s just
to sell more doughnuts and make more money so
that we can survive. Our stock had dropped
from 50 to $1 a share and I told ’em that, the first time that they’ve all seen me, and I said well let me tell you something, if that’s our mission,
this is my last day here. I said life is too short
for that to be our mission. Our mission’s got to be greater than that. It’s got to be more significant than that. So let’s go, think about it,
and let’s come up with one. It took us 12 to 18 months to come up with a mission statement. Krispy Kreme’s mission
statement is very simple. It is to touch and enhance
lives through the joy that is Krispy Kreme and that’s it. There’s nothing about
return on investments, nothing about shareholders’ value. It’s nothing about capital. It is literally to touch and enhance lives through the joy that is Krispy Kreme. I believe with all my heart
that if there’s one thing that lead to the turn around
that Amanda and others have forged in the corporate side of it, it’s the commonality that
that mission statement created for us. It was realizing that we
had a bigger opportunity than just selling doughnuts, that we had a chance to affect the guests coming in our stores like
almost no other brand does and to have them walk out of
our store not only saying wow, that was a great doughnut but saying, wow, that was a great
experience and we know that everyone who walks in
one of our stores has a story and probably everyone that
walks in has something sad going on in their lives and it’s up to us to make that day better
and brighter for them. If you’re wondering whether it works, I’ll give you an example
of something that I think validates it tremendously. One of our GM’s in Brentwood, Tennessee was at an All General Manager Meeting when we were going over
this new mission statement. She got me in the back
of the room afterwards, back of the auditorium
(coughs), excuse me, and she said, “I buy that. “I believe that. “I know what you’re trying
to say and I’m all for it.” So not much later I got
sent this little update. Do y’all know, are y’all
familiar with CarePages.com? Do you know what it is? It’s a blog for people who are ill. Family members might set it
up or the person that’s sick might set it up. It’s just a way of keeping
up with how they’re doing. A lot of times if it’s a young person, it’s a parent who’s blogging and just keeping all of her friends aware of how the child’s doing. I got sent this page from
CarePages and let me just read part of it to give you a sense for how our mission statement
affected this family. It’s written by a lady
that I found out later was Jennifer Dillard
and her son is Benjamin and she says on here, “I have to share with
y’all a wonderful testament “of the kindness of strangers.” What she goes on to say is that Benjamin, it was his heart birthday
coming up and you’ll understand the heart birthday in a minute. So he decided he wanted to take
Krispy Kremes to his class. This was about two
weeks after Valentine’s. So they called the store
in Brentwood nearest them and they said we’d like to get
some heart shaped doughnuts for my son to take to his
class for his birthday. The manager said we don’t
do those after Valentine’s and believe me, it’s a complicated
process to change cutters and get those shapes but the manager said, “Listen, if you need a lot of
’em, we’ll shut down things, “change the cutters and do then for you,” and the mother said, “No, Benjamin’s only got
eight people in his class “so that won’t be necessary,” and she said, “I just wanted to do it,” and she explained it
was his heart birthday and that’s why the heart
shape was so important to her. He had had a transplant
when he was two years old and they celebrate the heart birthday as well as his birth birthday. So the manager said, “Well, listen, we’ll do something for you. “Just come by at 10 o’clock, “we’ll have something ready for you,” and the mother said, “Okay, if you could, “I’d like to come to the drive thru window “’cause it’s kind of
difficult getting Benjamin “in and out of the car sometimes,” and the manager said, “Great.” In the blog she tells you
that later on that night, the phone rang. It was the manager again saying, “Could you please come inside
to pick up the doughnuts?” And the mother, Jennifer, said, “Well, I thought that was strange “but I was certainly willing to do that.” So she gets there the next morning, she walks in and this
lady comes up and says, “You must be Jennifer.” Her words now, “I just
smiled and said, ‘Yes’, “a little caught off guard. “She then said she’d been expecting us “and have something special for Benjamin “and there on the counter
was a huge balloon bouquet, “a card she had picked up from Hallmark “and had signed by all
the staff at Krispy Kreme “that had a puppy on it that
said, ‘So happy for you’, “a Krispy Kreme hat which
Benjamin wore all day in school “and 2 1/2 dozen heart shaped
doughnuts with red icing. “Benjamin was so excited to
see the balloons and doughnuts “and I was so touched
that I was speechless.” She says then, “I’ve never been so moved
by a random act of kindness. “This lady knew nothing about
us only that I was celebrating “his heart birthday and
yet went to so much trouble “to make his day so special
and, on top of everything else, “she wouldn’t let me pay for them. “She said she just wanted
him to have a special day. “Wow.” So she goes on to say and
she closes it like this, “I cannot help but think
God has his angels down here “and Virginia who’s the
General Manager at Krispy Kreme “sure is one to us. “She made Benjamin’s day much more special “simply by taking the time “to do something nice for a stranger. “I’m going to do my best
to pay it forward also. “God bless, Jennifer.” If I ever had any doubt
that our mission statement was worth living for, that story erased it. Now let me tell you something
you can learn from me. I told myself when I got that blog, I said I’m going to meet this family, wasn’t that far away from Winston Salem and I go to Nashville
a couple times a year. I said I’m gonna meet ’em. Well, probably like some of
you have done in your life, one thing after another came
up and I never quite got to it, always had it in my mind,
always thought I would, stayed up with his health,
his health was going well. About a year later, I’m getting ready to go to the Middle East on a business trip. We have a bunch of shops over there and it’s my first trip to the Middle East. I was pretty preoccupied
thinking about the travel and I got a message that
Benjamin had taken a turn for the worse and it looked
like his days were numbered. I did what maybe some of you have done. Hopefully, you haven’t so
I want you to learn this on my dime. I thought, I’ve done it again. I’ve had a year to go meet that young man and his parents and now
waiting for tomorrow, may have waited for
one too many tomorrows. So I told my right arm,
Jane, I said, Jane, you let me know if anything
happens to Benjamin while I’m over there and
then I’m going to see him as soon as I get back. We routed the troops, we
got marketing together, we had a plaque made quickly that said World’s Greatest Krispy Kreme Fan. I wrote him a letter. We did a bunch of things. I said, “Jane, get this in
the mail today, if you can.” I get back about 12 days later, had not heard from Jane
about Benjamin so I assumed he was okay. Turned out she had just
decided not to let me know and he was gone and all I could think was my missed opportunity to
touch that young man’s life. I go through my mail,
12 days worth of mail, and there’s a note from
Brentwood, Tennessee that I didn’t recognize. So I opened it up, I tore it open, and it was from Jennifer, his mother, and she said that his last
days, they got the plaque. So he didn’t die before the plaque came. So they put it on the wall beside his bed. He couldn’t turn himself
over so he could only look in one direction. She said he looked at
that plaque and they read the letters to him and said
those are the only smiles that he was able to give
the last two or three days of his life. So better late than never, I went to Nashville and I met Jennifer and Brad, her husband. We sat and talked and she
said in no uncertain terms that nothing affected
his life more positive in the last year outside of
just loved ones and family, nothing affected him
more than those people at that Krispy Kreme shop and
what they had done for him. So find a mission wherever
you go and make sure the mission’s bigger than
anyone thinks it can be and make sure it’s not
just about the bottom line or the top line. Seek out a mission that’s greater. Number five, establish a
culture of making a difference through your own servant leadership. That speaks for itself. The best kind of leadership,
the purest kind of leadership, is servant leadership. Doing for others is how
you go to the forefront. People think you can only lead
from the front of the line? Some of the greatest
leaders I’ve ever seen did it from the rear of the line. So keep that in mind. Be a servant leader. Just to let you know how important, there was a Krispy Kreme when I got there, again, there was tough times
and I went to the head of HR, Human Resources, I said, what can we do to make life
better for the people here? We didn’t have any money so
we couldn’t pay ’em more. They said, well, they
don’t get many days off. Retail’s tough. And I said, okay, let’s
come up with something. So what we came up with was
that we set up four days between Memorial Day and
Labor Day, free holiday, and here was the catch. Every employee was gonna get
four days off, extra days. They could only take it
on a Friday or a Monday to extend the weekend
and they had to use it for one of three reasons. They had to use it to extend their faith, to spend time with their family they could not have otherwise
spent or to make a difference in their community and
we call ’em FF&C Days, Faith, Family and Community
Days and what’s happened within our corporate culture
is we’re all learning to serve and now every
department in our company takes at least one or two of
those days as a group to go work at a soup kitchen
or go do a Habitat for Humanity or paint buildings in
need or help a shut-in that needs help, whatever
it is and it spread, and it has truly been a major
part of our corporate success. That’s fifth, servant leadership. Six, focus on relationships. Do not allow technology to
interfere with relationships. I beg you on that. I’m a big believer in technology,
it’s changing our life. Amanda told you what social networking, social media’s doing for our marketing, it’s unbelievable but please, please, don’t ever let it replace
in your life the touch, the personal touch of relationships. We’re talking about leadership
so now I’m gonna read you, this is the last thing I’m gonna read you but I’m gonna read you something. Think about the source of this. This came out of Forbes
Magazine, April 23, 2007. Forbes Magazine and here’s what it says. It’s from a nurse and she
said she witnessed something in the Emergency Room
that she wanted to share so Forbes published it. She was an Emergency
Room nurse and one night, she said she witnessed what was an astonishing leadership act. Her words now. “It was about 10:30 P.M.,
the room was a mess. “I was finishing up some work on the chart “before going home. “The doctor with whom I loved working “was debriefing a new doctor
who had done a very respectable “and commendable job, “telling the young doctor
what he had done well “and what he might/could
have done differently. “Then he put his hand on
the young doctor’s shoulder “and said, ‘When you finished,
did you notice the young man ‘from housekeeping who
came in to clean the room?’ “There was a completely blank look “on the young doctor’s face. “The older doctor said,
‘His name is Carlos. ‘He’s been here for three years
and he does a fabulous job. ‘When he comes in, he gets
the room turned around so fast ‘that you and I can get our
next patients in quickly. ‘By the way, his wife’s name is Mary. ‘They have four children,’ “and then he named each
of the four children “and gave each child’s age. “The older doctor went on to say, ‘He lives in a rental house
about three blocks from here ‘in Santa Anna. ‘They’ve been up from
Mexico for about five years. ‘Now remember, his name is Carlos.’ “Then he said, ‘Next week,'” this is to the young doctor, “‘Next week I would like
you to tell me something ‘about Carlos that I
don’t already know, okay? ‘Now let’s go check out
the rest of the patients.’ The nurse recalls, again her words, “I remember standing there
writing my nursing notes stunned “and thinking I had just witnessed
breathtaking leadership.” Breathtaking leadership. Don’t abandon relationships. Seven, always approach
a less desirable ending as a new and exciting beginning. I can tell you stories of my failures. I won’t but I’ll tell you what, the plans I had for myself
when I hit dead ends and brick walls and barbed
wire fence et cetera. When I finally got around all that, I ended up in places that
were so much more exciting and so much more fun then
where I thought I was going. So don’t call failure failure
and don’t look at failure as a dead end. Look at it as an opportunity
of a brand new beginning. Another saying I loved is
a bend in the road is only the end of the road if
you fail to make the turn. So, don’t fail to make the turn. Attitude in tough times is important. There’s a story about the two,
I wanna say elderly gentlemen but they were probably
about my age so I’d rather find another phrase for them (laughs), two older gentlemen but
they were in a nursing home and one of them was sitting down, the other man’s buddy came
and sat by him and he said, “You know what? “I am just flat sick and
tired of feeling the way I do “and being here. “This is just no fun.” And his friends said, “Well, I don’t know. “I feel pretty good.” The one that was grumpy said, “You feel pretty good? “That’s ridiculous. “How do you feel pretty good?” He said, “Well, I feel
like a brand new baby.” He said, “Friend, that
makes no sense whatsoever.” He said, “Well, think about it,” he said, “I got no hair, I got no teeth, “and I’m pretty doggone
sure I just wet my pants.” Attitude. One of the gentlemen saw
that as the end of his life, the other one said, “You know what? “I’m like a brand new baby. “I’ve still got some
things in front of me.” So remember that. Eight, I got no illustration
on this other than the words. Always use the wisdom
of hindsight as a tool from which you can learn. It’s very valuable but never
use the wisdom of hindsight as a tool from which to judge. There’s a big difference. Use hindsight to learn, not to judge, and particularly on yourself. When you know you’ve made a mistake and you’re just kicking yourself
because of it, it’s done. Learn from it and you won’t
make that mistake again. One of the things that pairs
with this is we’ve all got to learn to treat
ourselves the way we treat our own best friends. Have you ever noticed the difference in the way we treat ourselves
and we treat our best friends? If our best friend messes up
royally, whatever it may be, we go to ’em, we run to ’em, we write ’em, we put our arm around ’em, we hug ’em, whatever it takes and we say, “Don’t be ridiculous, that’s nothing. “You’ll get over that. “That’s not a big deal,” and we do everything we can
to make ’em feel better. When we mess up royally,
we just punish ourselves. We punish ourselves endlessly. Treat yourself as if you’re
your own best friend. Number nine, very
important to remember this ’cause it’s something I really look for in our young executives – share your successes,
share your successes, and celebrate the successes of others. Be humble. Don’t hold your successes to yourself. If you use the first person
singular preposition, it’s not a good sign. I and me are not good ones. We and us, they’re the right ones to use. Share your successes and
when someone else succeeds, don’t see ’em as a rival, don’t see ’em as someone’s
getting ahead of you, celebrate with ’em. Congratulate ’em. Be the first to tell the rest of the world what a great job they did. Tenth, (clears throat) never
move forward at the expense of your faith or your family. This was the hardest one for me. I was so bent in my career to succeed under all the definitions
that I thought were important, that I didn’t have it figured out how to keep those priorities straight. The best example I can
give you of that is, I had been with Interstate Johnson Lane (inaudible) investment bank, I had left to go home and
help my father in Greenville, South Carolina but was
still living in Charlotte. My two younger children are twins, were about eight years old, they did not wanna move to Greenville. We were staying there to
let my high school senior finish high school there
and then we were gonna move. Interstate Johnson Lane came back to me and asked if I’d step back
in as President and CEO and I told ’em yes. So this was the day we were gonna tell our two eight year olds
they didn’t have to move to Greenville which we knew
was gonna be a great day in their life ’cause they
wanted to stay in Charlotte. So they come home from
school and we’re all excited and I can’t wait to make ’em happy, Dad’s gonna finally do
something that makes ’em happy, you know, rather than
commuting like I’d been doing for about a year or so. We told ’em together. Anna, the little girl, she
was so excited she couldn’t, I mean, excuse me, Jamie, the little boy, was so excited he couldn’t
wait to run down the street to his best friend Phillip’s
house and tell Phillip, “Hey, we’re gonna be neighbors forever.” Anna had a best friend down the street but she didn’t wanna celebrate
and she didn’t say a thing and I saw her out of the corner
of my eye going up the steps to her bedroom and I
looked at Peggy, my wife, and said, “What was that about?” She said, “I don’t know.” I said, “Well, let me go see,” ’cause I figured she just
had misunderstood me. So I go up there and she’s
sitting with her feet hanging off the bed, crocodile tears coming down. So I got on my knees beside
the bed and I took her hand in mine and I said, “Anna, sweetheart, “I don’t think you understood Daddy. “We’re not going to have
to move to Greenville. “I’m going back with
Interstate Johnson Lane,” and just like only a child can do, she said, “Daddy,” she said, “I think maybe you’re the
one that didn’t understand. “Last time you were with
Interstate Johnson Lane, “I never saw you.” Don’t ever do that to a loved one. Don’t ever, ever put
yourself in a position where you have to hear those words. I spent years at Interstate Johnson Lane thinking that I was doing
things for my family, providing for them. Instead, I was doing things to my family. A little preposition when
you change for to to, but not one that feels good. I will tell you from that point forward, if I was in town, I never went a day without
seeing my children, never went a day. If I had nighttime meetings,
I would leave the office, I’d leave in the middle
of the meeting and say, “I gotta go tuck my
kids in, I’ll be back,” but I didn’t do it, but, boy, did I mess up for many, many
years prior to that lesson. So those are the 10 keys
that I give you of things that I’ve learned over the years. One other reminder I’ll give you as sort of the final thought is, and you may not think about this, particularly those at a young
age but as you live your life, you’re actually writing your
epitaph and I know that sounds like a little bit of a
gloomy thought but it’s not, it’s an (inaudible) thought. Your epitaph does not
end up being something written in stone after
you’ve left this earth. Your epitaph is your
life and you live it out and you’ll be remembered by
who you are and how you live it and it’s a great opportunity. So as you go through your
life, think about that. How do you wanna be remembered? What memories do you wanna
have other people have of you? Because that’s what it’ll be. It is in your control, it’s your destiny to
write your own epitaph. There’s some great ones and this is where my faith’ll come in ’cause the one I picked
happens to be out of a book called the Bible but it’s
just one that I think is so great. It happens to be St Paul
who’s writing to Timothy and it’s known to be
his last letters towards the end of his life. He’s had a rough time
and listen to these words ’cause this is an epitaph
that I strive for. I’d love to be able to end
my life with these words. “I have fought the good fight. “I have finished the race. “I have kept the faith.” Think about the words. I have fought the good fight,
not I have won the fight, but I’ve fought the good fight. I had been there pitching and
fighting the whole way, okay. I have finished the race,
not I have won the race, but I completed the task that
I was put on this earth to do. I have finished and I’ve kept the faith. In his case, it was faith in
his, in a religious sense, but for any of us it could be anything. Have you kept the faith? Have you believed in yourself? Have you believed in others? Have you stayed positive? Have you had something
critical in your life, something more important than monetary and tangible rewards there? Have you kept that sort of faith? Have you kept faith with
yourself and with others? So you’re writing your own epitaph. Find one that you’d love to strive for. Don’t try to become that
person but think about it ’cause I think it can make a
difference and remember this, that you are the only
person that can be you and one of the dangers that I see, one of the things that I
see people do is they envy and admire other people
so much they start trying to become them and if you do that, you’ll lose the greatest asset you’ve got because you are a unique
individual and no one else can be you so why do
you want to give that up to try to be somebody else? Be who you are. Be who you are. Seize it, enjoy it,
love it and treasure it. So here’s my summary – simply this. I urge you to determine
your passion and then pursue that passion with all you have. I urge you to go out in
this world (clears throat) committed to making a difference. Make the world a better
place because you were here. Continually build a life, not a resume. My first Navy Captain built a resume. My second Navy Captain built a life. Lead people to destinations they could not have attained without you. Wherever you go, look for opportunities to display breathtaking
leadership (clears throat). Find a Benjamin in your life
and change his or her life. Day by day, recognizing
you’re writing an epitaph, and make it one that provides
both memories and a legacy where other people who know
you are really, really pleased that they knew you. Do all of this without
ever allowing your career to get in the way of your
faith and your family and what I leave you with this, is this, I cannot tell you how
excited I am for what y’all have in store for you. I mean, I really mean it. You can go out there and you can literally change this world. My generation, in my
opinion, has messed up a lot. We’ve walked away, we’ve not only made mistakes
but we’ve allowed, I think, our country to drift away
from some of the values that made it great. So here’s how I feel as I look out at you and see the wonderful future
you have in front of you, my generation needs your generation. We need your generation of leadership. We are excited about your
coming along and providing that leadership to our generation. We will support your
generation of leadership and we will pray unceasingly for your generation of leadership. You have more to be excited about and more to look forward to
than you could possibly imagine. So go out there and seize
what your opportunity is, pursue your passion,
provide genuine leadership, and the world is yours. So I thank you for letting me be here. God bless you and go Pirates! (audience applause) Just raise your hand if
you’ve got any questions. By the way, I will say this
while we’re waiting on that, if things had went
appropriately, thanks to Amanda, we have doughnuts in the
rear for you as you go, Krispy Kremes, and so my hope is that, my plan A was that you’d
take something with you from my comments that had some meaning but if you didn’t take anything with you from my comments had some meaning, my plan B was you’d simply remember me as the guy that brought
the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. (audience laughs) So they’ll be there
for you when you leave. (audience applause) No questions? We’ve got one, I believe. – [Male] Thank you for
coming, Director Morgan. Stephen Jer-ris, I’m in
financial management. How have the skills that you learned with a financial services
company translated similarly or differently for working for something in retail like Krispy Kreme? – And that’s a great question. My friends, I told the
Dean earlier, I said, my friends say I’ve gone
from dollars to doughnuts and I’m not sure how that relates. I think the good news is
it’s amazing the similarities and the challenges of the two companies. I approach my work as
a people job as opposed to a management job, if that makes sense, and when I went to IJL,
it was very similar. It was a stock that had been a high flyer. It was down to about a
dollar a share and the press was saying it was going out of business and I knew the people
and I knew the people could pull it together and make it work and all they needed from me was
someone who believed in them and believed in the future, believed in the product,
believed in the service, and that’s really what I
assumed at Krispy Kreme. So in a way I treated them identically. I think my financial background
though certainly lent itself to my being more valuable to Krispy Kreme because we did have a lot
of financial challenges and as good as my Chief
Financial Officer is, it helped him to have a
partner that understood what our challenges were. Does that answer it? – [Male] Yeah, yes, thank you. – [Female] I’ve got one for you. This university, ECU, and
the College of Business are both very leadership driven places. What are three qualities
you see in a great leader? – Well, humility is one
that comes to my mind first. I think that people confuse
leadership with arrogance ’cause arrogant people sort
of self-appoint themselves leaders and I think that a leader, when you’ve been in a company of a leader, you walk out of there with both confidence and I think excitement. So I think that someone
who can engender that is a quality and I think
humility is a starting point. I also think, believe it or not, that it’s very important for a leader to be a great listener. I have a ratio that I try to live by, it’s not easy but if I’m, with two people, just me and one other, I try to talk 1/3 of the time. I take the fraction down by one number. If I’m with five people, I wanna make sure I
don’t speak more than 1/6 of the time et cetera, et cetera. I think leaders are ones
that learn from what others are saying as opposed to
actively, proactively, consciously teach from
what they’re saying. Those would be the first
couple that would come to mind. – [Male] How do you guys, how does your company evolve its product? I mean, obviously, it’s doughnuts, coffee, but how do you evolve over
time without staying stagnant? – That’s one of our challenges,
to be honest with you. Right now all of our
research work tells us that, for the next few years, we have all the opportunity
in our primary product which is doughnuts and
beverages to keep us growing pretty significantly for years to come but you’re exactly right. We’ve got to diversify
at some point in time and I think being Krispy
Kreme is a two edged sword. Everybody thinks of us,
I think everybody does, as having great doughnuts
but they don’t think of us for much else and, so right now, our move is to have them think about us for beverage, in particular coffee, ’cause coffee and doughnuts
go so well together but I would tell you in a matter of years there are two things
that we’ll be working on. One is we’ve got to
have products for people who are more health conscious. We don’t, we tried by the way, we tried a whole wheat doughnut years ago. I think nationwide we sold two of ’em. (audience laughs) I bought one of ’em to
see what it was like and I have no idea who
bought the other one but we found out people come to us for an affordable indulgence,
not for something that, but here’s what is important, we’re a family place and
I’ve got a granddaughter, eight year old granddaughter
who is gluten intolerant and so I want my daughter and son-in-law and their two daughters to be
able to come to Krispy Kreme and all four of ’em have
a treat and so we’re gonna have to have some health
conscious treats in there to be able to broaden the
family and what I call eliminate the veto. Secondly, somewhere down the road, we’ll also have something savory in there, protein or something that’s
savory but that’s probably years down the road not
quarters down the road. We only have 240 stores
nationwide so we’re way under populated right now. Thank you, that’s a good question. – [Male] I just wanna
let you know that I think it’s the coolest thing in
the world when you walk into Krispy Kreme you can
see how they’re being made through the glass. I think that’s the
coolest marketing scheme I’ve ever heard in my life. (audience laughs) – Thank you. It is, we call that
doughnut theater internally and we call that glaze the glaze waterfall and I’ll be honest, I’m
so blessed by the way, I hope you can tell I love what I do. I mean, I can’t get up early enough and can’t stay up late enough to do it and but nothing makes me happier
than walking into our shops and seeing some of these little
ones staring at that glass and watching that waterfall doing it so thanks for commenting on that. I will relay that to our
marketing department. We will not brick over
those glass, I promise you. – [Male] I just have a quick question. I find it, your story’s amazing, compared to some of these
stories that you hear from like the College of Business like some other presentations
that you hear from people on CNBC Money and stuff like that so, on behalf of everybody, I really wanna thank you for
coming here but my question is, how did you overcome, how did you have the confidence
to go up to corporate who can be so serious and
so stuck up sometimes, you know what I mean? How did you overcome that,
like get that confidence? – You know, I will tell you this, I didn’t get tested before
they gave me my first job at IJL (inaudible), they
tested me afterwards, and the psychologist
said I had no business being the CEO (laughs). So clearly I’m unqualified
based on the typecast they have there. I gain my confidence from
the people around me. My philosophy is there’s
no one person on the team more important than anyone else and so I present other people, they are the most important
person at Krispy Kreme doing what they do and I
also will tell you this, I was on my own once. I was somewhat successful as a stockbroker which is what we were
called way back then. I went on my own to manage money, took myself away from people, and I failed miserably and
I learned at an early age that I wasn’t all that great by myself but if I surrounded myself
with the right people and was part of a team,
then it worked well. So I’m not sure that answers you but — – [Male] No, it does. Thank you. Thank you very much. – I can’t see well so don’t let me… Y’all ready for doughnuts
and to put your card in the slot and all that
sort of stuff, right? Get credit for the attendance and run? (audience laughs) I know about the system, I was told. – [Female] We have one more. – I think we’ve got one more in the back. We’ll let this be the last
one so y’all can break. – [Male] Yes, do you guys, going back to your story about Benjamin, do you guys as Krispy Kreme
do a lot more, I guess, charity work and donating to hospitals and different things like that? – Yeah, everywhere we can. Thanks for asking that. Our fundraising was responsible
for over $32 million of charitable fundraising during the year. If you’re familiar with Victory Junction, we raise millions of dollars
for Victory Junction. We have a hot doughnut
wagon now and we take it to disaster areas for the
workers and the first responders. I can’t imagine the number
of man hours or doughnuts that we give to places that are in need and it’s a big part of our life. It really is. We thrive on that. We’ve got a deal with the Salvation Army. When there’s a disaster in the country, they let us know when
it’s time for us to come and we bring a wagon of
hot doughnuts and people to help the, usually it’s the first
responders and the victims, and I hope wherever you go to
work, wherever you go to work, I hope they’ll recognize
their responsibility of the world around them too. We’ve got to reach out, you
know, it’s so many of us, I’m just being honest with you, so many of us go through life
and we end up in a good place and we begin to believe
that we hit a home run and the truth is, everybody in this room, almost literally everybody in this room compared to the average
person in this world, we were born on third base. We were born on third base. The head start we have is
phenomenal in this country and with the education you’re getting and so we try to remember that
and we try to help the ones that are still stranded at
home and haven’t even made it to first yet and I hope y’all will too. We need you to do that. Well, that’s it. Listen, I can’t thank you enough. Thanks for letting me be here. Thanks for making me a part of it. (audience applause) Have a great day. (audience applause) (upbeat music)

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