Rohit Chande is our Chief Operating Officer and previously served as our Chief Transformation Officer. His expertise is in applying disciplined strategy development and execution, value creation, and M&A. We talked with him about what makes a great leader in franchising.
Q: How is a leadership team selected for a franchisor?
A: Selecting leadership for a franchisor business is like recruiting athletes for a professional sports team. It all starts with overall strategy and plan for the business. Based on the organizational strategy and drivers of competitive advantage, we then identify the leadership roles and skills needed to propel strategy into execution. We look for deep domain expertise and experience of running other large successful franchise businesses. Since we are in the people business, understanding of what it takes to be a successful franchisee and their trials and tribulations is equally important. We want our leaders to be focused on continually improving value proposition for our franchisees, to help them grow their businesses, and to generate generational wealth. We also look for leaders that bring complementary skills to their peers so overall leadership team is stronger.
Q: What are the top three qualities you look for in a leader?
A: Outside of the technical skills and experience needed for the role along with cultural fit, three qualities that I look for in leaders are honesty, integrity, and bias for results. Honesty is communicating truth regardless of circumstances or consequences. Integrity is doing the right things and following through on commitments. Bias for results stems for setting standards for the team, holding them accountable while creating an environment that fosters high performing teams. Leaders that practice these qualities of ethical behavior typically tend to have high EQ and are prone to delivering successful outcomes despite challenging circumstances.
Q: What are the top three considerations when building a leadership team?
A: One of the key considerations in building a leadership team is having “positive energizers” on the team. “Positive energizers” propel the teams forward and achieve great outcomes based on their authentic, value-based leadership. We have all met people in our day-to-day lives that instantly uplift the mood of the room when they enter it. These “positive energizers” themselves are far superior performers than others and they set positive standards for others to follow. They typically lead to overall better team performance, foster innovation, and financial results through developing better culture.
Two, is having a problem-solving mindset. We constantly work in a dynamic environment with multiple variables and uncertainties. Given the rapid advances of technology and consumer preference changes, organizations are facing ever new frontiers of problem solving. Good problem solvers tend to operate comfortably in fluid & ambiguous environments, have very good intellectual curiosity that seeks to understand different aspects of the business problem, they can zoom in and out of a given situation to look at the problem from different angles, they are excellent at pattern recognition, and are humble enough to know that collective intelligence is required to solve complex problems.
Third, and perhaps equally important, is having high emotional intelligence and ability to leverage situational leadership. These leaders are first and foremost self-aware and adept at self-management. They understand their own emotions and associated triggers very well and therefore can manage their emotions despite the most difficult circumstances. These leaders are also adept at understanding where the team is both emotionally as well as skill wise and can easily switch their leadership style depending on the circumstances to get the best outcome. A good situational leader can easily go from say, coaching to democratic to pace-setting style, in a given day. A good analogy for a strong leader that is adept at situational leadership is to think of them as a good golfer who can reach into their bag of clubs and pull the right one depending on the hole location, distance, and ground conditions.
Great things happen when you have leaders on the team that complement each other, are humble and honest, and have one or more of these key attributes. They create an organization culture that brings the best out of the team.