In this episode we talk to Cliff Hudson, former chairman of the board and CEO of SONIC, a company founded in Shawnee Oklahoma by Troy Smith that ultimately evolved to be one of the largest chain of drive-in franchises in America. Now Sonic is owned by Inspire Brands, the parent company of Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Since his departure from Sonic, Cliff has moved on to help others embrace life as masters of none. Sharing his philosophy on the freedom of being comfortable with uncertainty and variety, allowing yourself to thrive in unfamiliar environments, and seizing opportunities that we often don’t see coming.
Join us as we talk to Cliff about the need to appreciate flexibility as the foundation for success in both work and in life.
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More about Cliff Hudson, Author, "Master of None" (Published by Harper Collins)
Clifford Hudson spent 35 years of his career at Sonic Corp., an Oklahoma City-based, publicly held company that owns, operates and franchises SONIC Drive-In restaurants. Most recently, he was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of this public company with more than 3,500 franchised and company-operated drive-in restaurants. He left the company upon its sale in December 2018 and joined the law firm Crowe & Dunlevy as Of Counsel in the firm’s Oklahoma City office.
Hudson graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in History, from which he also received in 2011 an honorary doctoral degree in humane letters. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown University, where he served as Chair of the Board of Visitors from 2013-2016. In 2014, Georgetown University awarded him the John Carroll Award, its highest alumni recognition.
Hudson served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), a presidential appointment, from 1994-2001. He served as Chairman of the Oklahoma City School Board from 2001-2008, a position created in 2000 as part of a $530 million turnaround of a 40,000 student, inner-city Oklahoma City Public School system, for which he received the 2012 David T. Kearns Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education. He served as Trustee of the Ford Foundation (New York) from 2006-2017 and is a past Chair of the Board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
In 2020, Harper Collins published Cliff’s first book entitled Master of None: How a Jack of All Trades Can Still Reach the Top. In addition, he has been the guest on numerous national television, radio and podcast programs, including his own podcast, “Master of None”.