CEO Q&A: How Do You Make Tough Decisions?
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CEO Q&A: How Do You Make Tough Decisions?

CEO Q&A: How Do You Make Tough Decisions?

In each issue of Franchise Update magazine, we profile franchise CEOs and presidents, asking each the same set of questions. Throughout the year, we'll be selecting one of those questions -- and providing answers from the previous year's profiles. If you want to learn more about these franchise leaders and their thoughts on other topics, just click the links below to read their full profile. This week we ask: Are tough decisions best taken by one person? How do you make tough decisions?

Jon Nobis, CEO, Two Men and a Truck
Ultimately, tough decisions do need to be made by one person, but that person definitely does not need to be the CEO. To create leaders, you have to let people make decisions. Personally, I make tough decisions by first gathering feedback. I am blessed with people on my team who have worked in the back of the truck and dealt with difficult situations, whether on the front lines or between franchises. Most things are clear at that point, but if the decision is still a gray area, I literally write it out in the context of our mission, purpose, and values, and then I pray over it. Read full profile here.

Brian Petranick, CEO and President, RiseMark Brands
I really like to gather as much information as possible before I make tough decisions. That can come from colleagues, team members, outside sources, etc. Sometimes there may not be time to gather a tremendous amount of information before making a decision. I have always had a good "gut," which is really just being good at reading all of the information and making the appropriate decision at the appropriate time. Ultimately, one person has to own the tough decision, but seeking out information and input from others is always recommended. Read full profile here.

Tammy Whitworth, Chair and CEO, Window World
Tough decisions are absolutely not made by one person. I have a six-person board of directors, and every decision that is made includes them. Depending on the situation, various department leaders and executives will also be consulted. Read full profile here.

Nicole Ossenfort, CEO and President, Liberty Tax
I get information from many different sources. I listen to everyone and read lots of reports, but ultimately, I'm the one who has to make the tough decisions. I stand by my decisions, and I expect those on my team to support those decisions. Read full profile here.

Larry Oberly, CEO and President, SpeedPro Imaging
Harry Truman once said, "The buck stops here." That's fine on the surface, but I like to collaborate as much as possible, to diagnose problems and not just treat symptoms. Usually the identification of the issues and the options and solutions come from the team. My role is to challenge the assumptions and perhaps apply past experience. After vetting all the options, it's my role to make the final decision. Read full profile here.

Rob Price, CEO and President, School of Rock
I bring team members into the deliberation process. I will solicit feedback and delegate to team members more expert than I, where possible. Ultimately, I do like to have single points of ownership on decisions, but not all need to be made by me. Read full profile here.

Michael Poates, President and COO, Mr. Gatti's Pizza
I think the toughest decisions in any organization need to be collaborative. I think the leader inevitably owns the decision. It's important at decision time to be decisive and demonstrate calm, committed leadership. But it is an important perception to have collaborated with many levels who are affected by a decision (most importantly, our guests). C-suite decisions create a wave that can encompass an entire organization, so it's important to have buy-in, whether the decision was right or wrong. That buy-in will help you exit the wrong decision as easily as it supported you making it. If you are wrong, you need to stand by it, make it right, and let the team know, in the hope they will learn from it. Read full profile here.

Shannon Hudson, CEO and Co-Founder, 9Round Franchising
At the end of the day, all decisions rest on my shoulders. We do have a great leadership team here, including my wife, who is 9Round's co-founder and COO. But at the end of the day, if the decision turns out to be a bad one, it is my responsibility. Read full profile here.

Published: March 31st, 2019

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