Colonel Sanders and his Adversity Quotient (AQ)

Colonel sanders Adversity Quotient

In Notes from a Friend, Tony Robbins shared the story about Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken:

Have you ever heard of a guy named Colonel Sanders? Of course you have. How did Colonel Sanders become such an unbelievable success? Was it because he was born wealthy? Was his family rich? Did they send him to a top university like Harvard? Maybe he was successful because he started his business when he was really young. Are any of these true?

The answer is NO. Colonel Sanders didn’t begin to fulfill his dream until he was 65 years old! What drove him to finally take action? He was broke and alone. He got his first social security check for $105, and he got mad but instead of blaming society or just writing Congress a nasty note, he started asking himself, “What could I do that would be valuable for other people? What could I give back?” He started thinking about what he had that was valuable to others.

His first answer was, “Well, I have this chicken recipe everyone seems to love! What if I sold my chicken recipe to restaurants?” Could I make money doing that?” Then he immediately thought, “That’s ridiculous. Selling my recipe won’t even pay the rent.” And he got a new idea: “What if I not only sold them my recipe but also showed them how to cook chicken properly? What if the chicken was so good that it increased their business? If more people come to see them and they make more chicken sales, maybe they will give a percentage of those additional sales.”

Many people have great ideas. But Colonel Sanders was different. He was a man who didn’t just think of great things to do; he put them into action. He went and started knocking on doors telling each restaurant owner his story: “I have a great chicken recipe, and I think if you use it, it’ll increase our sales. And I’d like to get a percentage of that increase.”

How many times do you think Colonel Sanders heard NO before getting the answer he wanted? 1009 times before he heard his first YES.  He spent two years driving across America in his old, beat-up car, sleeping in the back seat in his rumpled white suit, getting up each day eager to share his idea with someone new. Often, the only food he had was a quick bite of the samples he was preparing for perspective buyers. How many people do you think would gone for 1009 NO’s – two years of NO’s – and kept on going? Very few. That’s why there is only one Colonel Sanders. I think most people wouldn’t get past twenty NO’s, much less a hundred or a thousand! Yet this is sometimes what it takes to succeed.

Colonel Sanders had high Adversity Quotient (AQ) which is a combination of mental and emotional intelligence, used for one to have the ability to endure the challenges of life. 

Colonel Sanders had high AQ because he refuses to compromise on personal and professional excellence no matter how difficult the obstacles are.

Orrin Woodward, founder of Life Leadership wrote that many people feel they are not smart enough to succeed, but typically, the most successful people are not the highest scorers on an IQ test.  Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor scored off chart in AQ, and was average in IQ.

Dr Paul Stoltz of Peak Learning, stated that your success in life is largely determined by your AQ.

AQ tells you how well you withstand adversity and your ability to surmount it.

AQ predicts who will overcome adversity and who will be crushed.

AQ predicts who will exceed expectations of their performance and potential and who will fall short.

AQ predicts who gives up and who prevails. 

Romans 5:3-4  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.


Source: RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE by Orrin Woodward

Image: Copyright by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)

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