Hobby Lobby CEO and Founder David Green recently joined Glenn in-studio to discuss his new book, ‘Leadership Not By The Book.’ During their discussion, Green details to Glenn the ‘direction book’ his family decided to follow while building their business. He explains why it’s the ‘best way’ to run a business, and he dives into several, important leadership lessons he’s learned along the way…
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN:So there's a new book out, it is called Leadership Not by the Book by David green and bill high from Hobby Lobby. Welcome, David, how are you sir?
MATT: Thank you. It's good to be here.
GLENN: It's good to see you again. First of all, I did a special last night about how the FBI and the federal agencies and the media are weaponizing against Christians as individuals and as business. You were, your fine was how much?
MATT: Well, they were going to fine me $1.3 millions a day.
GLENN: A day.
MATT: If I didn't follow their instructions. We got that number by the number of employees we had. It's like a thousand dollars a day per employee. That was a lot of money. 1.3 was what we were looking at.
GLENN: And all you had to do was just offer birth control or abortion; right?
MATT: They were for pills and prescriptions that we could not provide because we knew it was after the fact that we were taking life and we knew we just could not do that. We had to have that when we signed our next insurance policy and so this was what the government was asking us to.We knew we couldn't do it. As you said earlier there are some things you just can't do. You can't go against your conscious.They were asking us to go against our conscious.
GLENN: You won that case.
MATT: We did win that case.
GLENN: Thank God you won that case.
GLENN: And that changed the course I think the first real big win for America as we have known it then past.
MATT: It sure helped us.
GLENN: It did.
MATT: We didn't know what we were going to do. People would ask me, what are you going to do if you lose this case? I said I don't know what we are going to do, but I do know we're not going to pi for someone's abortive pill. That is what we had decided as a family. In fact we came together as a family. We call ourselves gen 1 and our kids gen 2 and we had all of them in a meeting do you see this any different gen 3, the younger people in our family, and all of us stood the ground and said we're not going to take life for the sake of making profit at Hobby Lobby stores.
GLENN: Let's talk about, by the way I think what you went through and I'd love to hear your opinion on this, it almost seems like the good old days compared to what we're facing now.
MATT: Things have gone pretty much south on a daily basis here. I can't even imagine what the government's asking us to do and how they're coming against us if you want to be a Christian. So some how or another today we're seen as the haters and yet we have the greatest story in the world about Christ who died for us while we're yet sins. So we're not the haters. We're the ones that got the best and the greatest love story in the world.
GLENN: I have to tell you. I've met so many Christians that will come up to me and say what are we going to do? And I'm like there there's only one thing left to do and it's what everybody dismisses but if we don't turn to God and ask him for forgiveness and help we're not going to survive. He's the only answer at this point. People are like yeah, yeah, yeah, but what are we going to really do? I'm like do you not believe? Do you not believe that the guy who rose from dead, harder trick than fixing our country is not -- people of faith, I'm not sure that a lot of them really truly have faith that when it comes down to it, yeah. Whatever happens it's in his hands.
MATT: Yeah, but I think there's something we have to do. I think you'll see us, our family, with a lot of other families coming on the program. You're going to see it at the Super Bowl, he gets us. We're wanting to say "we" being a lot of different people that he gets us. He understands all of us. He hates who, he loves who we hate so I think we have to let the public know and create a movement, really.
GLENN: That a different movement. I agree with you on that. There's lot we have to do. But that's one of the most important movements I've heard, if that what the movement you're doing. He loves those who hate us.
GLENN: We have to find a way to love -- it doesn't mean don't stand against it.
GLENN: You've got to be firm and clear on your stance and I'm not moving but I can't hate them.
MATT: That's right. We have to present the only answer to this, and it's not politics. you've already said it's him, Jesus who died for us, loves us, and until we accept him and know him and his scriptures and his book that he's given us we can settle the problems we have.
GLENN: So you have written a book leadership not by the book. You're the founder of Hobby Lobby which started out, I love the way you began. You started out making frames with your family in the garage.
MATT: Exact.My boys made seven cents a piece. Today we do 8 billion-dollars so we've come a long ways.
GLENN: I think so, from seven cents.
GLENN: You have 12 principles in here and I've highlight ad foo of them, but I want you to just kind of give the overview of the book.
MATT: Okay. I think people ask me why I write the book and I thing one of the greatest reasons I wrote it is for us to understand we don't own what we have not because I say so, but because the scriptures and the old testament as well as the new testament says that God owns everything. I think as we see what we have is owned by him we're nothing but servants. When I say nothing but, I would rather be to serve and to be, to take care of what God has given us. Wealth is a curse and how do you handle the curse. That is to be someone that takes what god has given us and know how to handle it.
GLENN: I think we used to understand that concept a lot more. We were country that had great welt. We helped, we helped each other, wear always the first on the scene. And now, I mean, it's, that's kind of like government does that. We just have this, we're just not the same people.
MATT: The government's done too much and that why sometimes we've backed off where we should not have backed off. We want to make sure what we do with our profits really make as difference.
GLENN: Let's go through some of the principles that I'd like to talk to you about.Build for the next 150 years, not just the next generation. I don't think there's people, I think there's lots of people that are just building for tomorrow, not even the next generation. This is more Chinese in your thinking, explain.
MATT: I think it's also thinking about what we're doing in our lifetime. What are we doing that doesn't matter a hundred years from now. If you get to thinking and drilling down on that you want your life to be something that eternal and not just temporal. That's what we're doing there. We're making sure that our children come along and serve the Lord and also have the same priorities you do. That is to have Hobby Lobby going on forever if possible and being ministry to those that are in need.
GLENN: How do you go from a framing place to everything you sell with that? I think there's a lot of people, they separate I want to talk about family too because you talk about this separation. They separate God and their faith from their business. They'll come up with all kinds of excuses that, you know, I gotta do what I gotta do. We gotta do business.
MATT: Right. I don't know had you do it without trying to find the book. This book is called Leadership Not by the Book, but hopefully is by The Book. I really don't know how you do it without following The Book. Because it gives us so much -- our creator has given us a book that really will help us.
GLENN: What are some of the business decisions that you had to make that, you know, on the surface were nuts that regular business people go now but you just had assurance, I know this is what He want me to do and it will work out?
MATT: I think one of those things is how we treat our employees. I sense the Lord just gave me a; the holy spirit, you're in Changer of these people. I'm putting you in charge of these people. Now you're saying what does that look like? It looks like they need to go to church on Sunday you gotta close on Sunday. It looks like you gotta open 66 hours a week maybe your minimum wage at to be 18-dollars an hour. Maybe you ought to have 7 different chaplains to help the people in need that have different problems. I think it looks like that lin of these things by the way are biblical but it's also good for business. We are very, very profitable, we have no debt --
GLENN: People would say, because I know you write about it in the book, people say how can we get to, you know, 16-dollars an how and you're like we're getting up to 18.50 an hour, what are you talking about? And everybody will say, as I know, I've been around business my whole life, people will make the argument you can't overpay. You can't, you can't make your hourly wage that high because you won't be able to afford it. It will jack prices up.
MATT: When we first started we just tried to survive so you need to understand that. It was just surviving. As we tried to follow The Book, which there is what ebb other book do you want to guide your life by, there's only one book that of God, the rest of them are man, there's only one and he's given us a book, a direction book. When you follow it I can't tell you a better way to run a business than following the book and following things I think would be pleasing to our Lord.
GLENN: Tell me how, faith is one thing, but talk to somebody who doesn't necessarily have the faith just about how the principle of paying your employees, doing all of the things that you do, how do they convince somebody who doesn't necessarily may have faith but not your kind of faith.
MATT: Yeah, my kind of faith believes that God's word is where we're going to be best in our life and everything we do. He's given us a direction. Our creator gave us a direction book. If you don't have faith, why doesn't it look good to take care of your people and they take care of yours if you don't have faith at all? How does that not look good? How is what we're being told in God's book, how does it look wrong? He seems to make common sense and that to care for people if you really want them to care for you. So people know by the way who Hobby Lobby is before they knock on the door for an application and because of that I think we get the very; very best people that are out there. People that have a work ethic, people that have integrity. I think that one of the secret sauces is just to have great, great people.
GLENN: It is, it's weird too, as somebody who is a conservative and a religious person, that I was, I can't remember what city I was in but I think there was a Michael's and I didn't know there was a Hobby Lobby. We go into the Michael's, it was just not good. We were like we gotta find Hobby Lobby. It was like this little island respite like I know things are safe here. I know things are the people are going to be nice, nobody's judging, I don't have to have any kind of stupid societal rules. It's nice. It's nice.
MATT: You know who you are when you're in our stores. You hear beautiful Christian music, every department has something that glorifies our Lord. If you come in, in front of the store and there's Bibles and good Christian books. We have a miniature Christian bookstore in the front of out stores.
GLENN: You are breaking every rule of business.
MATT: Right, right.
GLENN: You know?
MATT: It's okay.
GLENN: No. I know. If you were just a business person I think you would us a booking and in say you're going to be a nice niche store you'll never be Hobby Lobby. And it's just amazing.
MATT: Yeah. We're proud of what God has given us. By the way, I give the glory to a lot of great, great people. We have just a lot of great people. Our officers, by the way, average over 25 years. We have people that stay with us, they love it, they love it because they know they're doing something other than just doing something to make the owners rich because that's not what they're doing.