Female Leaders Raising Up the Next Generation - Clarissa Bradstock
Name: Clarissa Bradstock
Brand: Any Lab Test Now
Years in franchising: 14
No. of units system-wide: 201
What do you wish you had known before taking your first management role? Trust yourself and allow yourself to make mistakes.
Which leadership skills were most difficult to develop? Delegation. One of the hardest things to do when you are a first-time manager is to delegate and let others learn from their mistakes.
Who helped you on the way to the top? My first mentor, Jim Whitmire, who taught me to trust myself and take chances, and Rich Simeone for supporting me through the challenges and successes with Any Lab Test Now.
What was the best advice you ever got? Leadership is an opportunity to serve others.
Is that different than the advice you give? Although compensation is important, make sure you are taking advantage of opportunities to learn and grow.
How do you mentor, and what advice do you give those you mentor? Have fun. Take chances. Have faith.
What skill set do you think is imperative for young women leaders? Confidence.
What are your leadership do’s and don’ts? Do: Look for incremental improvements. Schedule biweekly meetings with each subordinate. Schedule time for strategic planning. Listen to inspiring podcasts. Give back to the community. Build a collaborative team. Take a step back before responding to challenging emails. Don’t: Expect perfection. Micromanage. Take yourself too seriously.
How did you learn to embrace risk-taking? By asking myself, “What is the worst that could happen?” Once you recognize the worst-case scenario, it is easier to make difficult choices.
How should aspiring female leaders build allies? Engage and be present. For example, I became very involved in the franchise community and took leadership roles. Through these opportunities, I was able to meet some amazing people who are fantastic leadership role models.
How do aspiring female leaders balance patience and perseverance? My mantra is “incremental improvements,” which is a combination of patience and perseverance. Leading a franchise company takes patience because you have franchisees at various levels of experience with the brand, and you have to progress at a pace in which franchisees have an opportunity to engage and embrace.
What roles do education and experience play in leadership development? I think it is important to provide team members the opportunity for continuous education, while exposing them to other aspects of operating a business.
What about attitude and mindset? Having a positive attitude and mindset helps team members and franchisees visualize success. Once they can visualize it, they are more likely to attain their goals.
Was there a time when things didn’t turn out as planned? I was with a company going through difficult times and I was downsized. That was my first position, I was immature, and I took it personally. Now when I have a friend or associate in a similar situation, I offer to have them work on special projects because it is important to engage in productive tasks while seeking new opportunities.
What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned, and how has it proven invaluable? Allow team members to fail, and then guide them on ways to do it better going forward.
Why is it so important to give back to the next generation of leaders? Mentoring others is a way of giving back and leaning into the future, and is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a leader.
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Franchise Update Magazine: Issue 1, 2022