Take It from the Top: 5 Steps To Becoming A Better CEO

It is no secret that many CEOs are challenged by how to best motivate and get results from their franchise development departments. Over the many years I've been involved in franchising, I have seen the powerful role CEOs can play to support their franchise development teams.

1. Be passionate about your mission, values, and the vision you have for your entire organization. When you consistently articulate your brand's mission, values, and vision in a passionate way, you remind your team that you are all building something great together. Your entire organization looks to you for leadership and hope for a better tomorrow. Franchise development professionals want to feel good about what they do, and contrary to what many may think, it is about more than just the money. Being reminded of the greater goals and their role in helping recruit the right franchisees where everyone can win together is extremely important!

2. Assuming you have the right franchise development team in place, commit to doing whatever it takes to provide the right platform for success. Become highly involved and interested in what is going on, and what can be done to improve results. Kick off each day by meeting with the franchise development team. A quick review of the daily priorities, top candidates, and how you can assist in the process can do wonders!
When I was CEO of CMIT Solutions, we experienced a dry spell in franchise awards and our pipeline was completely dry. My franchise development team was discouraged and unmotivated. It was clear that they needed a shot of I decided to roll up my sleeves and work side by side with them. I got involved in the entire process, taking leads and making necessary changes. The momentum quickly kicked in. By being with them in the department I also could hear their conversations and assist them by making suggestions for improvement. I learned a lot from them as well. We also made it fun again! We got dramatically better because I made it a priority as CEO to do just that. It was no coincidence that year was our best-performing year in franchise development to date. At times, leadership by example is needed when results are critical to your organization.

3.Consistently evaluate the process with your VP of franchise development. If you have the right people in place, there is no need to micromanage. However, knowing and staying on top of key indicators--lead budget, lead flow, contact rate, qualification process, skill and needs of the franchise development team, recruitment cost of each new franchise, expectations, and results--will give you better information and allow you to make course corrections along the way.

4.Become a motivator and champion of your franchise development team. When asked how to motivate a sales team, my conclusion is always the same: find out how to motivate each individual on your team and eventually you will have a motivated team. This begins by making sure your VP of franchise development is both a motivator and self-motivated. You can tap into team dynamics for motivation, but the best motivation comes from within. Never underestimate the amazing benefit you provide as a CEO who clearly becomes the champion of your franchise development team. When people know their leader believes and is pulling for them, they will also pull more for themselves, one another, and their leader! Believe in them, look for their good qualities and attributes, set high expectations that are within reason, help them see that their goals can be achieved one step at a time, provide support and and be interested enough to inspect what you expect. When achievements are made, lavish recognition and appreciation both privately and publicly. Recognition is a powerful motivator.

5. Commit to growing and getting better as an effective leader and CEO. As your own personal growth toward excellence continues, and as you "walk your talk," others will be motivated to grow personally and professionally as they follow your lead. As you continue to improve and strive for excellence within yourself, they will be inspired to do the same. It is very important to your franchise development team to not only believe in the brand they represent, but to also believe in you as their CEO. Strive to stay current in best practices and passionate about taking the steps needed to always improve. Your actions are always being evaluated, whether you like it or not. "Your actions speak so loudly, I can't hear a thing you are saying" applies to every CEO. May your actions speak and support excellence and the values you want your entire organization to embrace!

Linda Burzynski, CFE, is president of The Franchise CEO Network and also the CEO of VL Service Corp., a franchise consulting service. With over 23 years of franchising experience including leading several franchise systems as president and CEO, her passion is in working directly with CEOs and presidents of emerging and established systems. Lindaburzynski@mac.com, 512-288-8855.

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