Clifford Hudson, CEO of Sonic Drive-Ins from 1995 – 2018 brought with him incredible growth, new revenue, and the Sonic ad guys! He explains how white guys became the minority on their board, how to mix politics and business respectfully, and how they nearly threw out their best idea from a franchisee because “it wasn’t ordained” by the leadership.
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- Full Topic List
- 16:08: Cliff on his relationship with “the Sonic guys” and how much of their acting was improv.
- 18:50: Cliff on how his board at Sonic Drive-In became more diverse, why it was important for him, and how he experienced segregation in high school.
- 23:03: Cliff on how diverse boards come with diverse perspectives, and the business case and profit that comes with diversity.
- 25:23: Cliff explains how a lack of openness and accessibility almost lost them a billion-dollar idea created by a franchisee. Later called “Frozen Fountain Favorites,” the idea drove profitability by 40% in the first year and doubled Sonic’s in size from one to two billion dollars from 1997-2001.
- 33:15: Clif describes how to push down leader ego and inspire others by shared victories.
- 37:03: Clif explains the balance between being a jack of all trades and how a “master of none” can rise to the top.
- 44:08: Clif describes how to mix politics and business respectfully without dividing people. It’s about having a conversation before making a conclusion.
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