7 ways to be a leader even if you’re not the boss

Inside Franchise Business: 4 exceptional leadership characteristics
Inside Franchise Business: 4 exceptional leadership characteristics

You’re dealing with franchisees day in, day out, but you’re not a boss. So how can you be a good leader?

It's not about the title, it's the characteristics you exhibit, suggests the Huffington Post.

1. Be clear in your communications

Say what you mean. Don’t be a fence sitter or a people pleaser. Consider your style of communication and avoid the passive-aggressive approach.

Clear messages delivered in a way that your franchisees can understand will prove effective.

2. Be flexible

Keep the big picture in mind when you review franchisee operations and business performance. If there’s a right way to achieve an outcome, is it the only way? What would happen if your franchisees complied – but not 100 percent? Does their preferred method of reaching the results work more effectively for them?

There will be some non-negotiables in compliance but other areas of the business might be more flexible.

3.  Be a listener

Franchisees – and other team members – have great ideas. Respectful listeners don’t cut people off mid-conversation. If you’re listening you might hear a great tip or process that could be incorporated into the network for everyone’s benefit.

4. Be a risk taker

We hear a lot about the importance of failure in business-building. It’s an entrepreneur’s life blood. But if you’re in a positive environment, taking a risk in your daily role can pay off, even if you’re not the boss.

We’re not advocating a devil-may-care approach – rather an evaluation of a situation, the potential and the risk, and then having the courage to take the step.

5. Admit your mistakes

Owning your mistakes is a sign of leadership. Rather than indulging in a blame-fest, admit your error and find a way to fix it. And if you need help, ask for it.

6. Stand by your franchisees

Back yourself, and back your franchisees. If they have genuine grievances that need addressing, be on their team and deal with it, or manage up if necessary. 

7. Work hard and smart

US inventor Thomas Edison said more than a century ago “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration”.

You don’t have to be a genius to recognise that putting in the effort can be what distinguishes success from failure.

Common phrases about success often relate to ownership and commitment:

  • “I won’t wait for others to take the first step.”
  • “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”
  • “If not me, who?” If not now, when?”

In a 2012 letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon said “When we’re at our best, we don’t wait for external pressures.”

That applies equally well to individuals as it does to businesses.

Leaders run their own agenda.