The franchisor’s leadership is one of the benefits of buying a franchise. David Glover of Caremark reflects on the different ways leadership can influence your success
We’re lucky every event we hold with our franchisees mixes hard work and professional development with a fun social aspect. This June in London, I joined a panel discussion for some of our franchisees on how to grow your business. Our regional development managers nominated franchisees who would benefit from the day’s content which was led by a top performing franchisee.
Prior to the session, challenges to business growth were put forward so strategies and solutions could be discussed. Whilst our regional development managers are trained to work with our franchisees on a one-to-one basis, franchisees often find it more appealing to spend time with their peers to get to the nitty-gritty on challenging subjects. In short, they look to the network for leadership as much as they do to me or the franchise team at head office, which is exactly what we want to happen.
We’re the facilitators because we have the wide view of where particular skills and expertise lie within the network. Leadership is about motivating others to be the best they can be, not sending rules down the line from head office. We actively encourage sharing of best practice and provide regular opportunities for our franchisees to take the leadership role.
In my first job as a trainee solicitor at the age of 22, the senior partner was someone I looked up to as a leader because of his business management and people skills. Even today, if I have a staffing or management issue, part of me thinks “What would Don do?” The key thing I learned from him was that a strong work ethic was essential but, when the work day was done, encouraging social activities could really support delivering a bond – one that increases employee engagement.
In the case of Caremark, the combination of leadership and relaxation time creates a close-knit, supportive relationship between head office, our franchisees and their care workers. Our franchisees are driven to take on their own leadership roles and ensure that same balance of work and reward - you only have to look at the spa days our franchisee runs for his staff at Caremark Winchester & Eastleigh to see the benefits.
There are plenty of books on leadership and how it brings business success but I think leadership qualities are plain to see in our daily lives. You clearly notice when people are inspired to take action. If you share some of that inspiration along with solid experience and practical examples, the results can take on an exponential growth. Whilst we have regional development sessions scheduled throughout 2019, I’m already looking forward to our mid-summer event which combines an educational dementia virtual tour with our annual summer party.