Monty MoranFormer Co-CEO at Chipotle Mexican Grill (2009-2016), Lawyer, Author, Pilot & Filmmaker
Described as one of America’s most inspiring and effective leaders, Monty Moran’s unique and powerful style led Chipotle to meteoric growth and success, as the company’s value grew by over $23 billion and more than 2,000 restaurants during his time as co-CEO. Chipotle’s unparalleled rise in revenue, profitability, and shareholder return were fueled by an extraordinary team of over 75,000, united around Monty’s powerful vision of rewarding people based on their effectiveness in making the people around themselves better. Monty, a former trial lawyer, is an avid pilot, author, and filmmaker, who continues to teach how to build empowered cultures by unlocking people’s maximum potential through love, vulnerability, authenticity, and excellent communication.
Monty’s view of effective leadership is unique and refreshing. It’s grounded in his belief that ordinary people, in the right environment, are capable of making extraordinary contributions. He’s found that people, whether in a law firm of 30 lawyers or a Restaurant chain of 75,000 employees, are capable of leading and making significant creative contributions when they work in a culture that ignites their individual and collective growth.
For Monty, empowerment is not a buzzword. It’s not a tactic. It’s a way of life. It’s part of the non-delegable responsibility of every leader to build relationships with those they hope to influence. After all, Monty reminds us that the only source of a leader’s power is that others choose to follow. Earning people’s respect requires leaders to love, listen and connect. It requires the kind of vulnerability that is essential to building strong relationships. And, it requires that every person take responsibility for building a culture that causes people to work and play at a high level — consistently.
It was this kind of people-centric leadership that drove Monty’s team at Chipotle to grow from 400 restaurants to more than 2,200, each contributing on average over 2.5 million dollars in revenue, and to earn multiples on Wall St. that rival many technology companies.
In his new book, Love Is Free. Guac Is Extra: How Vulnerability, Empowerment, and Curiosity Built an Unstoppable Team (2020) and upcoming docuseries, Connected: A Search for Unity, Moran explores leading with love, vulnerability, curiosity, and authenticity. He educates leaders to humbly lift up the people around them, noting that the more they do, the more they will be rewarded - professionally, financially, emotionally, and personally. His talks are fun, energetic, interesting, and full of ideas that leaders can actually use to quickly build more engaged teams, and vastly improve results.
Prior to joining Chipotle, Monty was head of litigation and then managing partner and CEO at the Denver-based law firm of Messner and Reeves, LLC, which he led for ten years. Most recently, Monty realized his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot, and flies his airplane throughout the United States to pursue his interest in better understanding and serving Americans, a quest he documents through his startup, Old Tale Productions. In addition, he is a director and chairman of corporate boards, advisor to many entrepreneurs and businesses, a filmmaker, and author.