Leadership not one size fits all

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In most businesses, proper management is a complex task. Why? Because managers need to be hands-on, dedicated workers who are able to effectively wear many hats and juggle many tasks – all while ensuring the ultimate success of the business that they have been made responsible for.

In the franchising system, even though the franchisee needs to take a hands-on management style, the team of managers at the store play a crucial role in supporting the business – which is why finding the right leader to manage a store is so important.

Leadership in any sense of the word can make or break those being led. The individuals in these positions will either drive the success of the organisation or be the cause of its demise.

To find and develop the ideal manager to lead a team is a challenging task in most instances, as the traits and skills required for optimal management can be intricate and vary widely. Simply put, an effective manager needs to be a master in many areas in order to lead and inspire a team to be masters in the work they deliver.

As with any business, success relies heavily on the team doing the groundwork. Should the team be led astray by its core leadership, the business and brand could follow the same route. While criteria are set in place to find the ideal franchisee for a brand, the same cannot always be said when it comes to appointing other leaders to work alongside a franchisee.

The concept of management does not come with a clear one-size-fits-all template that individuals work to. However, there are some traits that make up the anatomy of a good manager. They must:

- Set clear goals. Good managers are able to plan and prioritise activities aligned to their aims to create focus for themselves and others around them, and use these goals to steer the team effectively.

- Show empathy. The ability to mutually understand the feelings of people around them will enable a manager to create trust in the workplace, which in turn will enhance loyalty and support.

- Delegate work judiciously. Effective managers will entrust tasks according to the strengths of the team, while still affording members the opportunity to grow. In delegation of tasks, they will give clear directions and set expectations but won’t micromanage people around them.

- Lead by example. While proper delegation is important, there is a fine line between being hands-on and hands-off. Managers need to commit to more than just overseeing the workforce. They need to be the ones at ground level using the same tools that the rest of the employees are using, setting the examples for excellence to be attained. Without their physical involvement, employees can’t change and evolve.

- Continuously build on relationships. The most important aspect of a good manager lies in the way they work to attain and retain healthy relationships with those who make up their support system, whether it be the franchisee, kitchen staff or the supplier. It is the manner in which managers deal with people that separates the ordinary from the good and the good from the exceptional.

The anatomy of a successful manager builds on the structure of a thriving business as only through good management can employees be focused on achieving success. Strong managers are one of the most critical components of employee – and, ultimately, business – success.

Jan de Beer is the managing executive of The Fish & Chip Company.


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