Are You Okay?

Earlier this week I attended an excellent business breakfast on mental health in franchise networks as part of an Australian initiative called R U OK Day. This is an important topic. As a 62 year old psychologist who has spent most of his career closely working with tens of thousands of people in the franchising sector, I can tell you that the gremlins of stress and worry are constant companions to most franchisees and franchisor executives. This can range from mild irritability and frustration to more intense experiences of panic and depression, which you may be surprised to know, affect 20% of the population each year. In some cases, subjective feelings of hopelessness and distress can be so intense they result in people wanting to end their lives. Psychologists call this range of emotional experience, the Mental Health Continuum.Photo of R U OK Group with banners and signs  Read entire post

The Remarkable Smile Experiment

I have been on a week’s holiday at the beautiful beaches near Cairns with my wife, Ann. Most people go on a holiday to enjoy themselves so, for the fun of it, I decided to measure how many people appear to be experiencing this sense of enjoyment. Walking along the beach promenade from our apartment at Palm Cove, definitely a piece of paradise, I began sorting people’s faces into two categories, Smilers and Non-Smilers. You may think this is an over simplification as not everyone expresses joy by smiling, but I needed to keep it simple. So let’s call it a pilot experiment. Read entire post

The 10 Habits of Effective Field Managers

A few years ago, on a long haul flight back to Australia, I decided to review what helps field managers to achieve superior performance in their job. This is to help franchisees maximize profits, stay aligned with the brand, and participate constructively in the franchise network. Part of my review involved cross referencing the findings from several FRI studies where we had gathered feedback from senior franchisor executives, franchisees, and field managers. By the time the plane landed, I had also landed on the following 10 habits. I think you’ll find this interesting. Read entire post

A Beautiful Journey

“I am saying a journey is called that because you cannot know what you will discover on the journey, what you will do with what you will find, or what you find will do to you.”
These words by the African-American social commentator, James Baldwin, resonated deeply as I sat in the darkness on a flight to the USA, watching an enthralling documentary on his life. Read entire post

The Three Most Important Qualities of a Leader

I have just come out of two intense days of professional development. The first day involved a presentation to 70 franchising professionals on The Science of Successful Franchising. To prepare for this session, I reviewed FRI’s latest data on what creates an ACE Mindset in franchisees. This is where they Advocate the franchise to others (essential for a network’s growth), are Committed to ongoing investment in their business (essential for brand health), and are Engaged in supporting the strategies of the network (essential for a healthy franchise relationship). A large part of this presentation was on the qualities of effective franchisor leadership because our research has shown this, more than any other factor, influences the ACE Mindset. Read entire post

What’s Your Purpose?

There’s a story of a Prince who had taken over the running of the Kingdom after the sudden death of his peace-loving father. The Prince was inexperienced in the ways of leadership and wanted to prove his worth. His power-hungry generals suggested an invasion would show others his strength (and of course increase their power). Read entire post

Growing with Confidence

Last year Aziz Hashim, Chairman of the IFA, addressed our annual Multi-Unit Summit to an audience of 130 franchisees and franchisor executives. Because Aziz is, amongst other things, a highly successful multi-unit franchisee, he spoke with passion and credibility. His clear and direct message was this. Read entire post

11 Ways to Keep Franchisees Growth-Minded

In this Tip I'll share 11 growth strategies to emerge from a franchise operations leadership breakfast we held on the topic “How to Encourage Franchisees to be Growth-Minded”. Read entire post

The Hubris Trap and How to Avoid It

I just watched an interview with one of the world’s greatest violinists, Joshua Bell. He was asked by a rather serious journalist, “Apart from your obvious musical skill, what are the qualities that have helped you succeed in this industry?” His response caused me to burst out laughing with delight because I had literally just completed a blog quoting the world’s most popular business author on this topic. Joshua Bell grinned and simply said “Luck”. Read entire post

The Sock Thief

I once operated a bakery cafe where we made all our pastries from scratch. Because our top-seller was apricot danish, we kept a large stock of tinned apricots. One evening when reviewing our supplier invoices, I noticed we were buying more tins of apricots, which was strange as I knew our sales of apricot danish had remained pretty constant. Read entire post

Greg Nathan is a psychologist, author and an international expert on the franchise relationship. Connect with him on Google+ or Linkedin.

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