CEO Q&A: What Advice Can You Provide to CEO Wannabes?
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, click the links with their responses to read their full profile.
This week we asked What Advice they have for Aspiring CEOs.
Larry Oberly, CEO and President, SpeedPro Imaging
Don't give up, keep learning new skills, and keep networking. I had aspired to earn this opportunity for many years. After 19 years and many promotions at RE/MAX, I had to accept the fact that I wasn't going to be the next president. However, I always treated what I did as if I was and used that mentality to stretch and push myself. I engaged in other activities such as teaching franchising and entrepreneurship and taking franchising classes to further sharpen my skills. I attended the IFA conventions to learn and network. I'm blessed I was given the opportunity at SpeedPro Imaging and hope to make a positive, meaningful impact on the organization. Read the full profile here.
Jon Nobis, CEO, Two Men and a Truck
Everyone is CEO of something in their life, so first I would say to do the absolute best with the pieces you are responsible for, and more responsibility is almost always given. Second, I would say never stop learning. Learn from watching people, be curious as to how things work and question them in your mind, read books from people who have done it. Last, I would say you have to have a heart for the people who are coming to work for the company you are leading. Read the full profile here.
Tammy Whitworth, Chair and CEO, Window World
I didn't grow up dreaming of being a CEO, but I would say the sky is the limit. If becoming a CEO is what you want to do, set your goals and work hard. I have a 17-year-old son who dreams of taking over my job one day. I tell him almost daily that he has to work his way up; he's not just going to walk in and be handed the title of CEO. He, like every other aspiring business leader, has to prove himself and work his way up through every aspect of the business. Read the full profile here.
Brian Petranick, CEO and President, RiseMark Brands
Be a student of your business. Try to understand as much of its key drivers as possible. Be a student of all business models. Learn from outside your organization and across all industries. If you are in the service sector, learn about retail, foodservice, and production. If you are in franchising, learn about corporate models. Last, be patient and thoughtful with your career choices. The path to the C-suite is not always linear. Read the full profile here.
Nicole Ossenfort, CEO and President, Liberty Tax
Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, and learn from them. If you're always the smartest one in the group, you won't get far because you're not expanding your horizons. Read the full profile here.
Michael Poates, President and COO, Mr. Gatti's Pizza
Leading any company is a lonely role. It is something you are never prepared for. Make sure you stay considerate of feelings and be respectful of each person you serve in your organization. Never break a spirit. Even though you have all the authority you need to direct every decision, directive is never to be used until you have exhausted influence. To have an impact on change, it just works better to lead from a perspective of influence. Disclaimer: Influence is not manipulation or pushing buttons! Read the full profile here.
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