Running a business isn’t easy, even if you are doing it with the backing of an established franchise. There are pitfalls to avoid as you balance inventory, marketing, employees, market fluctuations, deadlines, expectations and family life.
For those days when you need a little extra inspiration, FranNet has you covered. Take the advice from these seven leadership books that were written for entrepreneurs just like you.
We present seven lessons that every leader needs to learn from seven inspirational books about leadership:
1. Trust in truth and don’t tolerate dishonesty.
- Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
To be a great leader, you need principles and that starts with honesty. You need to be honest with the people you deal with and you need to expect honesty from them and take nothing less. An honest and mutually respectful work environment is best for everybody. It prevents toxicity and promotes fairness.
2. Don’t get stuck by an excessive need to be me.
- Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful
This one gets a little psychological, but we all have certain characteristics, behaviours, traits and idiosyncrasies that we each think of as “me,” our true selves. However, when we label these various traits as “me,” we make it more difficult to change them. The worst thing a leader can do is say: “This is just the way I am.” If you want to be a great leader, you must always be trying to improve yourself. Being bad with names might be a cute little quark for some people, but you don’t need to always be bad with names. You can take steps to improve that aspect of yourself, just like you can improve any aspect of yourself.
3. Great leaders use failure as a wake up call. They turn their attention inward for reflection and introspection.
- Steven Snyder, Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity
Failure, as you may have heard, is the best teacher. It promotes growth and improvement. You recognize your own vulnerabilities and use that recognition to fix them. When you are the first to recognize your own shortcomings and face your own fears, it means others cannot take advantage of you because of them.
Did your franchise miss sales projections because your staff wasn’t trying hard enough or did you miss them because you weren’t leading strongly enough? Maybe you failed to recognize the full danger of a new competitor? A true leader will always examine their own actions first before they look for causes of failure elsewhere.
4. Personal proficiency is the ultimate rule of leadership, and it starts by knowing yourself and survives by investing in yourself.
- Dave Ulrich, Norm Smallwood & Kate Sweetman, The Leadership Code: Five Rules to Lead By
You have to invest in the training of your staff so they can become better workers and improve their skills and ultimately become better people. Every business leader knows that. But, what some leaders skip over is the investment in themselves. You also have to invest in yourself and improve your skills and leadership abilities so you can become a better person.
To improve yourself, you also have to know yourself. What are you capable of doing already and what areas could use improvement? How do you learn best? What would it take for you to become the best possible version of yourself? Always be striving to improve.
5. The true measure of leadership is influence: nothing more, nothing less.
- John C. Maxwell, The 21 Original Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You
Leadership isn’t the title you have, your vision or where you get to park your car. Leadership is influence. That’s it. If you have the title of CEO in an organization, but nobody listens to you, are you a leader? No. You’re just a person with a title. In order to be a leader, you have to hold influence over people. They have to want to listen to you and follow you. There are many ways to garner this type of influence, but without it, you can’t be considered a leader.
6. It is the people, stupid. If your dream is bigger than your team, you have got to give up the dream or grow the team.
- Dave Anderson, Up Your Business!: 7 Steps to Fix, Build, or Stretch Your Organization
Undoubtedly, the most crucial part of a business or any organization is the people in it. Nothing can be accomplished without them. It’s your job as a leader to recognize that you’re leading people with emotions, aspirations, needs and shortcomings. As a leader, you are the one serving them. They don’t serve you. To have the best possible staff and lead them in the best possible way, you need to hire the right people, give them the training and feedback they need and communicate clearly with them.
7. When you lose, you learn how to improve for the next game so that you have a better chance at winning. When you win, you must understand that you could lose next time if you don’t prepare yourself.
- More Than Just French Fries: 15 Business Thought Leaders Share Insights on Franchising Success, Multiple Authors including Jania Bailey, George Tinsley, Steve Greenbaum, Nick Powills, Ken Yancey, Rocco Fiorentino, and more!
This comes from FranNet’s own book on franchising. We talked to numerous business leaders to get their best lessons on franchising. This quote comes from former NBA player George Tinsley and while he is specifically referring to sports here, he goes on to outline how you can relate this lesson to franchising.
You may have setbacks, but the important thing is to learn from those setbacks so you can improve and be better prepared. So someone gave you a one-star review. What can you take from that review to help improve your service? So you didn’t reach your established sales goal for last year. What held you back that you can change to ensure you reach it this year? Learn from all your losses and use those lessons for a better future.
Leadership is not an exact science, but these books and their valuable lessons will help you be a better leader.
Before you become a business leader, you need a business to lead. That’s where FranNet can help you. If you believe you’re ready to take that first step toward business ownership, sign up for a free FranNet franchise search and consultation today.