Itís Important That Franchise Leaders Control Their Egos
by Ed Teixeira
Effective leadership often requires striking a balance between
ones ego and the need to solicit and encourage constructive feedback.
Because franchisors must lead their organization, employees and franchisees to
their respective goals, itís important that ego not impede these important
It would be difficult to find a franchise company not founded by an entrepreneur
with a certain amount of ego. After all, it takes a strong sense of belief in
oneself to risk their capital, business and more to start a franchise. Moreover,
when it comes to ego, there are few qualifying factors. Individuals can have
strong egos regardless of their age and education. As a franchise company begins
to emerge and grow the founderís ego that fueled the birth of this new business
may need to be controlled.
John Baldoni, a leadership consultant, coach, and author describes ego this
ďLeaders 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.Ē
To expect leaders to lack a certain amount of ego would be naÔve. The key is
not allowing ego to get in the way of leadership. One definition of egoism is
ďAn inordinate concern for oneís own welfare and interest.Ē
Various psychologists believe that an ego out of control can be a problem,
especially in the business world. However, a lack of ego can also be a problem.
The egotistical leader lacks humility and a leader with too little ego can lack
confidence. When an individual has too much ego, they can become arrogant.
A Franchisor Organization Leads Two Groups
Because a franchise organization includes two distinct components; the
franchisorís employees and the franchisees, itís important that the franchise
leader is able to influence, inspire and motivate each group to accomplish
specific goals and objectives. It may be difficult for the founder to put their
ego aside. After all, itís usually the founder of the franchise who built the
original business model and is the resident expert. This is their baby so to
speak and when it comes to babies its human nature to be overly protective, even
in the business world. However, in order for the franchise to grow and flourish
there must be a diversity of knowhow. Although a franchise provides a scalable
business model, each franchisee will experience various situations in their own
marketplace and will develop a knowledge base that could benefit the entire
network This requires that the franchisees have a voice, whereby, they can
communicate their concerns and issues to franchisor leadership. Whether, through
a franchise advisory council, survey or other vehicle this voice needs 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 can get worse before it gets better.
Advice for Checking an Ego
- As the franchise grows there will be more people able to
contribute insight regarding the operation of the franchise. Be
open minded after all, Ray Kroc got some great ideas from his
- Donít dismiss feedback from franchisor staff out of hand.
The old adage ďNo news is good newsĒ is not always true in a
franchise network. Follow up on reports of franchisee
complaints, especially, if from more than one source.
- Surround yourself with talented people that are not afraid
to speak up. Solicit feedback and stay in touch with employees.
Sometimes itís the employees near the bottom of the org chart
that have quality feedback.
- Remember that the most successful franchise builders
involved and listened to their franchisees. Franchise builders
like Ray Kroc, Dave Thomas and William Marriott were leaders
that were able to put their ego aside for the benefit of the
Itís understandable for franchise founders to have a certain amount of ego,
otherwise they could lack the self confidence to launch and develop a new
franchise company. However, as the franchise evolves itís important that these
leaders keep their ego under control; otherwise the organization may fail to
reach its full potential.
ďLearning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to
think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.Ē
© 2011 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC
Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org