7 characteristics of GREAT Franchise Leaders

“Good leadership” is the buzzword of this decade…maybe of the century!  While it may be hard to define on paper, most of us know “good leadership” when we see it.  Sometimes we recognize good leadership through the excellence of the brand, by profitable franchise relations, or by a positive presence in the local community. At other times leadership can be demonstrated by the willingness to make a sacrifice, respond to a challenge, or venture into uncharted waters.

Leadership is that rare blend of tangible and intangible skills that make others want to accomplish the organizational goals and objectives.

Leadership may never be more important, nor more of a challenge, than when running a franchise. To lead a  franchise company to growth and profit, the franchisor must understand that helping the franchisees serve the consumers is the goal. The degree of success that the company will enjoy as a franchise hinges directly on the ability of the organizations to take on the mantle of true leadership.

In analyzing outstanding franchise organizations, we see certain characteristics in their leaders:

7 Characteristics of Great Franchise Leaders

  1. They have vision. They know where the organization is going and can articulate the plan in such a way that the entire team is inspired by it. They are constantly looking ahead, being highly strategic, and repositioning the company to achieve the greatest profitability for both the company and its franchisees.
  2. They have respect. Good leadership sets the attitude that permeates the company. They treat their employees and franchisees as experienced business partners, explaining their decisions with data, statistics and logic rather than handing down ultimatums. When the leadership speaks and operates in a “team” mentality vs a “my way or the highway” mentality, it demonstrates the spirit of mutual respect and integrity that is necessary to be successful in the long term.
  3. They are accessible. The franchise support team…AND THE EXEC TEAM…take the time to go on the road to meet new franchisees and to renew their relationships with the established ones. Franchising is a business of partnership and trust. Deep, personal relationships inspire mutual loyalty and understanding.
  4. They listen to their franchisees and learn from them.  Successful ideas often come from franchisees. The best franchises have established a formal line of communication through a franchise advisory council to serve as a guide and sounding board for decisions, and they are willing to discuss issues informally to keep the franchise getting better, stronger, and faster.  Two ears.  One mouth.  Use them in the correct ratio.
  5. They are highly focused. They actually have worked in the operations side of the business long enough to understand the challenges that franchisees face and the systems they need to enhance higher profitability and growth. They work hard to keep bringing improvements to the processes, products and people in ways that are  logical, trainable, repeatable, and within the financial grasp of all franchisees.
  6. They are constantly growing. Good leaders are growing themselves, their team, their organization and their franchises.  They expect greatness from themselves and those around them!  They have read the manuals, sat in on the training, read the latest UFOC, and participated in the sales process so that they completely understand “the system” that they are offering.
  7. They know how to say “NO”:  They have analyzed the necessary skill set and personality style that will ensure the success of their franchisees, and they sell ONLY to those people. It takes a smart and tough leader to say no to people who want to buy but who will be unable or unwilling to perform the necessary duties (usually sales-oriented) of the business.

Many times your internal leaders are the right people to maintain the status quo.  Are they at their full potential in the above areas?  Are they growing themselves while growing the franchises? Consider also how are you delivering the next-level message to your team.  Are you fueling your organization with a renewed sense of purpose and energy? Are you creating a desire to be more collaborative and creative? Are you giving your people the positive push, tools, and strategies they need to take momentum-fueling action?  Are you effectively building and equipping your leadership on a regular basis?

If you have any questions about your current leadership effectiveness, or are considering your leadership strategies going forward, then let’s talk. I’ve been at this a long time and have worked with the best of the best of the best leaders and organizations in the world. I understand that what you really want is to make a lasting impact in your organization, the lives of your team, and your franchise owners.  I promise you…Straight talk. No smoke and mirrors.  REAL Leadership.  REAL Life.  REAL Success!

The philosophy for every leader of a franchise company MUST be: “When our franchisees make money and are successful, then we make money and are successful!. Therefore, we will do everything we can to help them make money and be as successful as possible!!!”