Monty Moran

“The fact that we do not always feel the warmth of love around us is a result of our own limitations, such as our limited senses, our dysfunction, our effort to build ourselves up as something greater than those around us, and our limited understanding of reality. If we call this reality the truth, then we could say that the truth exists independent of our ability to fully comprehend it. But if we could somehow fully understand the truth, we would see that the truth of the universe is good, is love, is god.”

I’m Monty Moran. During my time with Chipotle, we created an extraordinary culture of empowered people that led to meteoric growth. We grew from a handful of restaurants to almost 2,500 and hundreds of employees to nearly 75,000, and along the way we achieved historic financial results still unmatched in the industry and beyond.

I would never claim I did that myself. I was part of an amazing team. But as President and COO, and then as co-CEO for over 10 years, I did set the course and steer the ship. I learned to steer through a lifetime of asking questions, connecting to people, paying attention—and also running on trails, playing poker and mopping floors. When I tell the story of what happened at Chipotle, I have to tell a much wider story about what happened to me: I wrestled with insecurities, fear, pain, and heartbreak. What made me most effective as a leader was not my ability to ignore or brush aside these challenges. It was my willingness to embrace them as an essential part of what made me human.

My 20 years as a trial lawyer and leader have taught me how to ask questions in a very compassionate and non-threatening manner that encourages people to open their hearts and minds. My vision is to educate people so we may care more, feel more, and connect with each other more. It is only through making such connections that we will learn to be less self-absorbed and welcome a more intimate relationship with our world, which I believe will make it possible for more of us to care about and work to protect each other, animals, and the environment.

Through the messages in my upcoming book and docuseries, I explore the core precept of leading with love, vulnerability curiosity, and authenticity; and exploring the paradox that the more a leader humbly lifts up the people around them, the more that leader is rewarded financially, emotionally, personally, and in terms of business success.

The lessons I teach are not taught in business school. Indeed, they are antithetical to most teachings about business leadership, and much of the behavior of leaders everywhere. This approach draws from specific lessons from my early life, my career as a trial attorney, and my time as CEO of a law firm where I developed and forged the leadership concepts that I then fully put into place at Chipotle.

Most importantly, my message applies to you wherever you are in your life—as a young adult, a parent, a successful business person, or someone who feels a bit lost. It is meant to be put into practice by all sorts of people, it is about waking up to the life you have, empowering the people around you, and becoming a better person in whatever ways are available to you. No matter who you are, I want you to feel seen. Because you are meant to lead and make an impact.