Alfredo Ponce, team director for Chipotle, was chosen for the NRN Power List by CEO Brian Niccol because of how he embodies the company’s values and goes above and beyond in his work. Here’s what else Niccol had to say:
Alfredo embodies Chipotle’s values and works hard to advance our mission of cultivating a better world. He knows firsthand the importance of the frontline, as he started in our kitchen over 15 years ago and has grown into a leader who is now responsible for 1,800 people across five states. Alfredo has played a pivotal role in the development of countless leaders across various levels of the organization.
Alfredo has a people-first mentality, identifying the needs of others and delivering before asked. He makes those around stronger and creates an environment where his employees can thrive and pursue their passion. He builds trust and confidence in the teams he leads and plays to people’s strengths. Alfredo strives for greatness and inspires his team to do the very same.
Nation’s Restaurant News talked with Alfredo Ponce about building trust and creating a strong company culture. Here’s what he had to say.
What was the biggest lesson you learned from the challenges of the past year?
The biggest lesson has been reflecting on the power of building trusting relationships and culture in the restaurants. I have been blessed and impressed by the resilience, stamina and endurance my team has shown during these trying times. I am most proud of the way our leadership stayed true to our values in 2020. The direction, decision making, and communications has been second to none.
How are you and your company working to foster a diverse and inclusive company culture?
We are making the right efforts to raise awareness and provide access to more people in leadership positions. I have recently been involved in establishing the UNIFIED employee resource group that will help further our diversity and inclusion goals.
What does leadership and impact mean to you?
Leadership means to have the ability to influence a group of people to achieve a common goal. In my case, getting people to believe and buy into our mission to win today to create the future in order to truly cultivate a better world.