5 Leadership Qualities That Make For A Successful Franchisee
Leading and coaching employees is a heavy task, one that doesn't necessarily come natural to everyone who's developing their franchise business and team. And in today's ever challenging labor market, enabling your team and developing great culture from the right leadership tactics is more important than ever and can drive you forward with great success. If you expect a specific behavior or culture, then you must lead by example and be the type of person you hope to develop in your staff.
Good leaders try to do the right thing for their business without sacrificing core values. A lot of us have experienced it before, whether it's with prior employment or a past boss, but sacrificing core values and integrity to chase easy money doesn't go unnoticed, and can especially tarnish the expectations your staff holds you to as their leader. And if your expectation of your staff is to make good choices in the interest of the business and your customers, then you must stay true to your core values and lead by example. And more importantly, those core values should be communicated to your staff.
If you haven't already, share your "mission statement" with your employees. Maybe develop some "Core Tenants" that you aim to follow and expect from your staff as well. Highlight some great examples of how someone held true to one of the "core tenants" in a meeting, and showcase some quick wins in doing so that can motivate your team and showcase the impact you're having by following your "mission". Putting things in writing, and actively communicating it with everyone not only holds you accountable as a leader, but shares your values with the rest, and gets everyone marching in the same direction.
Learning and Development
It doesn't matter what stage you're at in your career, the majority of employees who are committed to their work like to know what lies ahead. Offering some sort of learning and development program or forward looking view on the business not only motivates your employees to strive for that next step, but provides them with the tools and skill sets to get there. What does your training and development program look like? Do you have certain milestones needed to achieve in order to get there (assuming a next step is in order and a role becomes available)? Even if there's not something right now, there's no harm in planning ahead, in the event you want to expand and open up new opportunities for your staff. Share your vision, provide the necessary tools and resources for professional development, and enable your employees who have the desire to want to grow with you.
One of the best things you can hear from an employee is their desire to want to grow within your company. One of the worst things they can hear is that you don’t have an answer or a roadmap on how they can get there. Think big, think ahead, and be transparent with those expectations.
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
Problems will inevitably happen. There will be drama. It's how you handle those situations that will showcase your ability as a leader to your franchise employees. When problematic situations arise, and they will, good leaders navigate with innovative problem solving skills and critical thinking. People like someone whose decisive but fair. But furthermore, they trust someone that can demonstrate the ability to listen, and collaborate with their employees to come to the best possible solution for their franchise.
Your staff will likely have many ideas. A lot of which they want to share. And the best thing you can do as a leader is listen. And not passively, actively. Actually hear what they're saying, restate some of the ideas or concerns you've heard, clarify the need, and show consideration and respect. Time is the most precious commodity we all have, and giving your time to an employee who wants to share what's on their mind to hear them out not only makes them feel respected, but also demonstrates the fact that you're open to new ideas, and looking to continually develop yourself as well.
Communication & Transparency
There will always be things we can't share amongst the team. Whether that's financials, future plans or expansions, etc. However, the things you can share, be sure to do so. Keeping a constant stream of communication and giving your team the transparency and insights they deserve will make them feel more connected, and a part of the bigger picture. The more you can communicate and share with your franchise employees, the more they'll respect, trust, and lean on you in the future. If you're trying to build a winning team, communicate to them your plans, your goals, and be transparent about what it takes to get there. Then more importantly, if you communicate to them a specific thing, back it up with action. People tend to follow your example, not your advice.
Building a winning team and culture is no easy feat. It's a mental, and physical challenge at times, but being aware and open to improving some of your leadership skills and remaining true to your integrity and core values will bring you and your people together to build upon a winning foundation.
We lead not by the example of our power, but the power of our example.
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