Multi-Unit Strategies - Surround Yourself With Great People
The need to grow from hands-on management to influential leadership is a challenge every franchisee must overcome on their way to becoming a successful multi-unit operator. Though the journey is different with no one-size-fits-all approach, there are well-trodden paths to making the transition from day-to-day management to strategic leadership. Successful multi-unit operators understand that the path to great leadership never ends.
We recently interviewed a number of operators who shared their secrets to making the transition from managing to leading. Here's some of what they had to say.
Don Robinson, managing owner of 20 Penn Station East Coast Subs in the Louisville area.
One thing about franchising that will never change is the need to surrounded yourself with great people, says Robinson. As his company grew, he realized the importance of having great people at different levels and identifying leaders early. "One thing I changed in my approach was to start looking deeper down the line for future leaders," he says. "I spend more time and effort today on the development of entry-level managers than ever before."
An early focus on people takes commitment from every team member--and it starts at the top, he says. That's one big reason he and his operations director meet every Penn Station new hire, and all attend an orientation at the regional office. The expectations of company culture are laid out from day one, he says. Later, hourly employees ready to move up to team leader meet with Robinson for a final interview before they can work a shift.
"This interview lasts only about 15 minutes, and I come to their work location," he says. "We talk about anything they want to discuss--dogs, family, school, or career options within our brand. This brief meeting allows me to, once again, identify future general managers in the very early stages of their career. It also allows me to follow the 'be present' model of management we stress in our company."
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