How Franchisors and Franchisees Can Become More Effective Leaders

Published on November 03, 2016

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“Leadership is not a popularity contest; it’s about leaving your ego at the door. The name of the game is to lead without a title.” Robin S. Sharma

In order to achieve success, both franchisor and franchisee leaders need to generate a sense of loyalty and commitment from those who follow them. In terms of clarity, the word follower refers to subordinates and in the case of franchisor leadership, their staff and the franchisee network. Both the franchisor and their franchisees have to inspire others to follow their path to success. Achieving effective leadership, means striking a balance between ones’ ego and the need to solicit and encourage constructive feedback.  Since franchisors need to lead their organization, employees and franchisees to reach specific goals, it’s important that ego not impede these important objectives.

We’d be hard pressed to find a franchise company founder without a certain amount of ego. It  takes a strong belief in oneself and the confidence to risk capital, a business and more, to start a franchise company. To a certain extent, the same can be said about a franchisee. Individuals can have strong egos regardless of their age and education. As a franchise company or franchisee business starts to emerge and grow, the leaders’ ego that fueled the birth of this new business needs to be under control.

John Baldoni, a leadership consultant, coach, and author describes ego this way: “Leaders need to have conviction about what they do; they need to love their work and the people who do it. That’s passion. By contrast, personalization is the conflation of ego and hubris; it causes a loss of focus because the executive puts what he wants to do ahead of what the company should do. Personalization is the enemy of the business case, and for that reason you should avoid it.”

To expect leaders to lack a certain amount of ego would be naïve. The key is not allowing one’s ego to get in the way of leadership.

Franchisor Leaders:

A franchise organization includes two distinct components; the franchisor’s employees and the franchisees, it’s important that the franchise leader is able to influence, inspire and motivate each group to accomplish specific goals and objectives.

  • Consider meaningful criticism and suggestions from staff and franchisees
  • Have a vehicle for encouraging and obtaining feedback
  • The franchisees need to have a voice, whether through a franchise advisory council, survey or other vehicle, they need to be heard.
  • Franchisor leadership that fails to listen or respond to the concerns of key management or its franchisees, because of an over-inflated ego, takes a chance that a bad situation will get worse before it gets better.

Franchisee Leaders:

  • Don’t dismiss advice or suggestions from franchisor staff out of hand.
  • Surround yourself with talented people, that are not afraid to speak up. Solicit feedback and stay in touch with your employees.
  • If your franchise falls short of reaching its goals be careful to diagnose why. There are some franchisees who will the place responsibility on the franchisor and vice versa.
  • Communicate with successful franchisees in order to learn their keys to success. In some case’s it’s as simple as following the franchise program.

It’s understandable for franchisor and franchisee leaders to have a certain amount of ego, since it can help drive the launch and development of a franchise. However, as the franchise evolves it’s important that these leaders keep their ego under control; otherwise their organization may fail to reach its full potential.



About the Author: Jeff Lefler
As the CEO of, Jeff understands that there is no Silver Bullet or sure-fire, simple way to pick a guaranteed franchise system winner. However, by using a little science and a lot of hard work, Jeff and the team at have developed a sophisticated research, analysis and comparison model to help potential investors and existing Franchisees assess a realistic value for any franchise system relative to others. It's called a Franchise Grade. With over fifteen years of small business experience and ten working in franchising as a multi-unit Franchisee, consultant and Franchisee Association President, Jeff has a good understanding of the level of hard work, dedication and commitment that drives a successful franchise system. As part of his ongoing involvement with the industry, Jeff also served as a Member of the Strategic Committee of the International Association of Franchisees and Dealers. Get in touch with Jeff to see how your system measures up at

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