Top leadership tips from 3 franchisors

By Sarah Stowe | 01 Nov 2019 View comments

Need some leadership tips? Why not check in with these three Top 30 Franchise Executives of 2019?

Natalie Brennan, Muffin Break GM; Amber Manning, Just Cuts GM; Beth Pocklington, Gymbaroo CEO share their insights.


Top leadership tips

Hire the right people, surround yourself with great people and grow their skills, then get out of their way, suggests Natalie Brennan.

Leadership is about empowering and trusting your team, letting them create and innovate.

“Innovation really is perpetual forward motion,” she points out, not a single significant shift.

A leader needs to inspire, and in effect be a pied piper, conveying vision, direction and inspiration. Leaders need to be accountable and show honesty and fairness to create the right culture, says Brennan.

“Particularly in franchising, have to have a genuine understanding of empathy. You really have to put yourself in those franchisee situations and everyone is different. To be able to do that, you’ve got to be able to listen…to listen and seek to understand.”

Of course leadership is about handling the tough times as well as the drive to success. It’s crucial to know when and where you’ve made mistakes and get up and keep going, says Brennan.

Good leaders own the errors – and move on.

Three pillars to leadership

Beth Pocklington has three pillars which are fundamental to her leadership approach.

  1. Choose your attitude: we have the capacity to choose how we respond
  2. Overlead and undermanage: it’s about leadership and not management. Empower people, give them authority and accountability.
  3. Get it done: be a tactical leader, keep it simple and reap the rewards.

Open door policy

Amber Manning believes it’s important to understand the brand DNA and then make your decisions, particularly in a business in which the founder is still involved.

“I have a brand blueprint on front of my folder so any decisions we make, we ask, is it in our brand DNA. One of those is, is it easy? Because if it’s not easy, it’s really not us.”

Manning’s approach as a leader is to provide flexibility and an open door policy. “For me, it’s all about being open to learning new things, to observe how other effective managers work within their business.”

Listen to more perspectives on leadership and franchising in our podcast interviews.