The Man Behind the Chicken: Colonel Sanders

colonel sanders
He’s more commonly known as the bearded, broadly-smiling man in Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)’s official logo, or the man who set about the ‘revolutionary’ change in the crowd’s gastronomical appetite that no other could-Yes, that’s right; he’s none other than Colonel Sanders, the founder of the KFC restaurant chain. And of course, the mastermind behind the plate of crisp, steaming hot chicken that sends people flocking over for more.
Then cooking for customers at a service station, Colonel’s local popularity grew and he later perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices which has lasted through the years till today. He later visited potential franchisees and afterwards sold the KFC Corporation for $2 million to a partnership of Kentucky businessmen. He remained a public spokesman for the company, until his death in 1980.
To date KFC is one of the most popular fast food restaurants around the globe, and it undoubtedly owes its success to a 65 year-old man who climbed his way from humble beginnings to emerge as a well-reputed figure in the food industry.
Beyond the plate of chicken, Colonel Sanders is a man with much entrepreneurial spirit, and was full of confidence in his strengths. Fueled with determination to expand his business from a meager service station to a well-known restaurant chain, he sought countless ways and methods, devoting his time and energy into perfecting his recipe. Even after the reduction of his restaurant’s customer traffic due to the building of interstate 75, he did not give up and persevered further, selling his recipe to other restaurants. Even then, when he suffered a second bout of failure after being rejected 1,009 times, he continued looking for new opportunities eagerly, and his efforts were finally paid off when his idea was finally accepted.
He immediately put his idea into action, and with proper planning and consistency, moved on to greater heights. His creativity in perfecting the recipe and innovation enabled him to retain the originality of the chicken recipe, as well as the success of the KFC Corporation.
As a student, after reading the life story of Colonel Sanders, I have indeed gained a few invaluable lessons of life, those that require more than simply teachings and lectures to understand. Even when we have little resources or find it impossibly hard to gain footing from a humble starting position, shouldn’t we think about Colonel Sander’s example, and understand that this man transformed his small service to one of the most popular fast food restaurants by not just his cooking skills and creativity, but also years of hard work, improvisation and relentless determination? Wasn’t he once a part of the faceless thousands of the crowd, but now has turned to be one of the most famous figures in the food and business industry? Such is the perfect epitome of great belief in oneself, and perhaps of how creativity and consistent hard work can go hand-in-hand to create a successful product. This is one of life’s most precious lessons that Colonel Sander’s success can offer us.
So the next time you visit a KFC restaurant, just take the first taste of tantalizingly delicious chicken and remember Colonel Sanders, the man who started it all with a single stroke of creativity and perseverance. Perhaps, besides a plate of chicken you can also earn yourself one of life’s valuable lessons.
Now, who’s hungry for more ‘so good’ chicken?

– Calista Io (1U)

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