I recently had the privilege of interviewing Lynsi Snyder, President of In-N-Out, one of Southern California's most iconic and beloved brands, leading up to our sixth annual Most Trustworthy Brands event held at the Disneyland Hotel. Lynsi was being honored as the 2016 Most Trustworthy Leader.
What immediately struck me about Lynsi was her incredible honesty. She is obviously someone who is completely comfortable in her own skin. No pretense. No hesitation. Just open conversation including her own admission of feeling unprepared to take over such an important role given little formal business education or training.
But here is an individual, at total ease, naturally willing to simply lead with her heart. She passionately shared how important it was to love those who made up the In-N-Out family--a family that includes employees, customers and the community she serves. Lynsi was also not shy to express that her ability comes from her close relationship with Jesus. From this relationship the concepts of giving being more important than receiving and loving your neighbor are in full display.
Having met many company CEOs, Presidents and C-Suite executives who find it difficult to reveal any level of vulnerability, it was wonderfully refreshing to come across a leader who is truly authentic, humble and quick to give credit to her grandparents, founders of the company, her father, and employees for her success. She sees her role simply acting as steward of the brand, continuing the legacy, continuing the love.
It should be no surprise that In-N-Out consistently excels in building trust both internally and externally. The financial results are impressive but more impressive are the relationships built on a daily basis, one employee and one customer at a time. This is a brand that lives out its values, led by someone who desires to leave the world a better place than she found it.
Congratulations Lynsi. You inspire us all to reach for higher ground.