What makes a great franchise leader? What is the secret to franchise leadership success?
While having a conversation with some franchise executives in a recent zoom call, the question came up, “What makes a great franchise leader and is there a secret sauce to make someone a great leader?” This is a topic I’ve often spoken about on stages across the world. So, I thought I’d share my opinion and insight on these commonly asked questions.
One of the best ways I believe in becoming a great leader is through communication and walking your talk. This is so very important in gaining respect, admiration, and loyalty.
One way to be a great leader is having the ability to show people the future. They need to be able to buy into a vision you have created in their head. Don’t confuse this with sales, this is not sales, we are not stopping all objections, we are not overcoming fears to make someone feel comfortable, there are no tricks to this vision. Part of showing a vision of the future is to chat about all the future, the goods and the bads. Nothing in life that I’ve experienced so far is all rainbows and sunshine, there are always stumbling blocks. Some blocks you can see, some are hidden and pop up when you least expect it.
To be able to show someone a vision is to show both sides. You need to be able to explain the good and how it could find its way bad if certain steps aren’t taken. Again, this isn’t sales where you try to overcome all objections to get them to buy something. I teach that too, but the ability to be an effective closer in sales rarely equates to being a great leader. Pointing out the possible challenges with the vision and helping one navigate the landmines in their mind, builds credibility. People respond well to honesty and someone who is upfront with situations. A good leader doesn’t sell the dream, he explains the dream in detail, all the dream. Being “Polly-Anna” about the future makes you seem either unconnected with reality or just a dreamer, a salesman. Sales are fine for the time and place, but true leadership is knowing and explaining how you’ll get through tough times, acknowledging that there will be tough times and showing how you’ll be there side by side fighting together.
Another way to become a great leader is to make a public announcement and follow through with the announcement, surpass it if possible. Keeping people up to date on successes and how they ultimately benefit them as a franchise, is key in the leadership success track. Sharing something publicly, a goal, a commitment, a stance on a topic, whatever it is, you show that you’re not afraid to take risks. Most people go through life doing everything they can not to take risks, not to rock the boat, to stay in their lane. For you as a leader to show that you committed, ready, able and will publicly throw-down the gauntlet, the world of respect opens up for you.
One of the best ways I believe in becoming a great leader is through communication and walking your talk. This is so very important in gaining respect, admiration, and loyalty. Far too many times we hear about in organizations, that the leadership has changed course and made a unilateral decision to move forward without any one’s input, even though the decision changed the game for everyone. Respect is lost so quickly when you don’t involve the people whom your decisions or change of directions potentially harm. If you tell someone you are not going to do something they are forced to make a change of direction, cause frustration, anger and resentment from others. The best way to ease the blow-back is through communication with those who may be affected. People may not like the new initiatives or decisions being made, but at least they aren’t caught off guard when changes are made. Be upfront, rip off the band-aid quickly and just be honest. This attribute is far too often overlooked and brushed aside to just later be wishing you had done so.
A great leader has a vision and can communicate that vision with others. Honesty and integrity need to be at the forefront of all decisions that are made, the easy ones and the not so easy ones. Care for others the way they want to be cared for. Lastly, remember to show people how to have fun in your business. As we grow, we lose that fun element in our lives, we think that we can’t have fun and that life should be work, work, work. Teach them how to play again and win in business while still having fun. Teach them not only how to have a successful business but a fulfilling life.