Bold Women in the C-Suite: Barbara Moran-Goodrich
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Bold Women in the C-Suite: Barbara Moran-Goodrich

Bold Women in the C-Suite: Barbara Moran-Goodrich

Name: Barbara Moran-Goodrich

Brands: Mr. Transmission, Milex Complete Auto Care, Multistate Transmission, Turbo Tint, Alta Mere, Dr. Nick’s Transmissions

Title: Co-Founder, CEO, Chairwoman

Age: 57

Years in franchising: 32 

No. of units: Mr. Transmission, Milex Complete Auto Care, 110; Alta Mere, 9; Turbo Tint, 4 with 50 in the pipeline

How important is making bold moves in a woman’s path to the C-suite? Making bold moves by anyone in business is definitely needed to move up the ladder and be on the path to the C-suite. The differences for women in making bold moves are the challenges and hurdles they must overcome. Why? Making bold moves shows you are willing to take risks, think outside the box, and be a leader in change. Sitting back and following the norm doesn’t show others your willingness to stand out as a leader.

Describe bold moves you’ve made in your career. When I was a kid I never asked for permission, I just did what I wanted. I was willing to accept the consequences of my actions. So bold moves were just a part of my life. When I was confronted with an issue that needed to be resolved, I’d present solutions. If they weren’t accepted, I’d go back to the drawing table to figure out what I missed in my presentation and start over until it was accepted. I think that is one of the first bold moves. I just didn’t accept “No” for an answer. I came back at it over and over and stuck my neck out. I think the biggest bold move I made was buying my parents’ shares in the business. This was one of the scariest moments in my life. I was a single parent of two children and realized that I needed to make a significant change in my life. I wanted to see a dynamic shift in our business and franchise system. I couldn’t do it without fully committing to being all in as the majority shareholder.

How did you envision those moves changing the brand you were with? I envisioned our relationship with our franchisees being one of collaboration, trust, and consultation. I believed support services were drastically changing and that we needed to embrace technology to be able to provide the most effective services. I also felt we needed to focus on helping franchisees understand their smart numbers as well as problem-solving when issues arose.

Which did not? Why? What didn’t work was thinking I could transition our culture to one of collaboration, trust, and being consultative with some of the franchisees we had in our system. They didn’t want to be a part of a collective group in working toward success for everyone. They didn’t want to change the operation of their businesses from the past to the future.

How has your leadership helped evolve the brand? It has helped the brands not only grow, but also has helped many of our franchisees to find success in their businesses and a return on their investments. Through collaboration, trust, and consultation with our franchisees we’ve developed our new brand, Turbo Tint. This would not have been possible if we hadn’t already built strong relationships with our franchisees.

Was there pushback? In the beginning there was a great deal from some of the franchisees who didn’t want to change our relationship. How we handled this was to work through each franchisee’s reasons for disengagement. Some eventually found that they wanted to be engaged and saw positive results; others decided this wasn’t the business they wanted to be in anymore.

How are you imparting a culture of boldness to other women in your organization? We have a philosophy in our company that those we want to work with take initiative, have creativity and an independent mind. We want team members with the wisdom to question something and allow our values to guide them when dealing with difficult decisions. For us to have this culture, we must truly embrace this through our own actions and leadership. We’re all going to make mistakes and should recognize this will happen when asking others to take chances. So when we take a chance and it doesn’t work out, we have to be okay with it and help them to find solutions. One of the fastest ways to lose credibility is by saying you want people to take initiative and then find fault when they do.

What motivates you as a leader? By nature I’m an advisor, consultant, and connector. My motivation is the positive results I see when we have a franchisee achieve great success, or a team member elevate their confidence and skills. I just feel honored to be a part of helping them and being a mentor.

What are some ways women leaders in franchising can drive change? 1) Take chances in sharing your opinions and ways to solve problems. 2) Don’t stop when presented with challenges or hurdles; you have to figure out a way around them and be willing to make mistakes. 3) Embrace your fears and fight to overcome them.

What role has mentoring played in your career? The mentoring I received played a major part in where I am today. If it weren’t for those individuals, I would not have had the confidence to take the risks I did.

How did you meet your mentors? It started with my mom. She was my first mentor in showing me how to work through being invisible in a man’s world (the automotive sector). Many of my mentors I ran after (literally!) and asked if I could talk with them. After a while it naturally turned into a friendship.

Describe one of your biggest failures. My first marriage. My ex-husband and I both failed each other and our children. There’s so much I could say about this and my role in the failure. However, it won’t change the outcome at this point.

What did you learn, and how did it contribute to greater personal or business success? When there is resentment between people, recovery is extremely difficult to overcome and forgive. I’ve learned to take time to reflect on my actions at the end of day and how they affect those around me. I think about whether I truly listened to others and thought through decisions to the best of my ability. Overall, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to be reflective in my actions (or inactions) and how they affect the outcome.

If you could do it all over again, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? In life we always want to rethink our decisions and ask, “If I had to do it over again what would I change?” As if we had total control of every outcome. We don’t. We take chances and fight like hell to get to our goal. Would I change anything? Sure. It would have made it easier to get to where I am today.

What advice do you have for aspiring female leaders? I would say be an advocate for yourself. It’s okay to be afraid of stepping out of the norm.  Just don’t let fear stop you from taking those steps.

Published: April 24th, 2023

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