It feels good doesn’t it – being in charge of your own destiny, owning your own franchised business? But being the leader is not always easy. Leading by example can, at times, be very hard – particularly when you are not feeling “leader” material. It can also be one of the loneliest jobs – up there on that pedestal all by yourself!
Some of the hardest times I have experienced in my business have been when the chips are down and the profits aren’t as good as they should be or the franchisor is making things hard with product supply or menu changes. Yet each day you go to work with your team. Now if you go in all down-trodden and sad – guess what? It doesn’t take long before your team is all sad and gloomy and the world is a terrible place. If you go in knocking the franchisor, the next minute your team, who feel a loyalty to you, also start being negative and snarky. You cannot afford for this culture to bloom and grow, otherwise a “blame” culture gets started in your team and once started it is very hard to turn it around. Not to mention, it makes it very hard to go into work every day with all that negativity.
You are the “boss”; therefore, you get to dictate what the mood and attitude in your store is. Arrive early for shifts and in correct uniform. Always have a smile and a happy attitude – it is contagious! If you start turning up out of uniform then the team thinks it is okay to do the same. If you turn up late then in no time at all your team also has this relaxed attitude and near enough is good enough.
Avoid being a seagull! That is the person who comes in and poops on everything and leaves. Imagine how this makes your team feel if the only time they see you is for 10 minutes and that whole time you have picked up on mistakes and errors and then you just breeze off into the day whilst having just wrecked theirs. Lead by example; clean better than anyone, do jobs quicker than anyone, and also do the yucky jobs! Jobs that no one wants to do. The quickest way to earn respect from your team is to actually do the work and do it well. That way you are setting the standard to which everyone else strives to achieve.
You are the one who has to recognise the challenges and address them before they become problems. You are constantly thinking on your feet, being one step ahead of the next change before it happens.
If you put in the time to develop a team, even while you are not looking your team is looking up to you. They are looking to you for direction and guidance. Act like you want your staff to act and in no time at all you will have a team to be proud of.