Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith says that a key to being a successful business leader is to adopt an attitude of servant leadership. Smith discussed his views while speaking at Cross Chuch’s Summit Luncheon on October 9 in Rogers, Arkansas.

Smith said the only leadership style he supports at Tyson Foods is servant leadership, because he feels it’s the only model that provides long term, lasting results, The City Wire reported.

“Leaders should serve their teams to make the whole team better. You may find a few self-serving leaders still working at Tyson, but give us time,” Smith said.

Faith plays a role in managing a business


Smith also spoke about his personal faith commitment, and said each day at 6:15 a.m., he and a team of other executives pray for Tyson Foods and issues that affect the industry.

Balancing personal, professional lives

Smith also talked about how he tries to balance his professional life, which has been particularly busy since the Tyson Foods acquisition of Hillshire Brands, and his personal life, which includes being a husband and father of three.

“The term work-life balance is a mystery to me. I don’t know anyone who day-in and day-out strikes a perfect balance. For me it’s like a bank account. Sometimes I draw down on the balance like in recent months with this Hillshire acquisition, but I know that I can’t let it get too low. I have to start making some deposits to rebalance the account. Like last night when the whole family spent nearly 3 hours at Mama Z’s eating fried chicken and spaghetti. It took us about 30 minutes to eat and we spent the rest of time catching up,” Smith said.