WHAT THE BEST DO BETTER
For almost six years now I have had the privilege of working alongside some of the finest leaders and brands in our industry and beyond.
Recently I was asked ‘What is it that sets a regular business owner apart from the pack, and turns them into industry leaders?’ It’s an insightful question, and one that left me rather reflective, regarding the diverse avenues through which leadership is expressed. Nevertheless, there are a few common themes that I have come to recognize throughout the years and through our valued partnerships the most successful brands in the business.
Engaged Leaders: the best and brightest brands, and those with staying power have leaders that are fully engaged with the business, with the brand, and with the customer experience. Whether individually owned or part of a franchise organization, engaged leaders know every customer touchpoint is an important lever of experience and success. A lack of insight from leadership into essential processes or customer touchpoints in the business filters down through all levels of staff, operations and longevity, thus creating a blind spot. This doesn’t mean that an engaged leader is working the desk or washing towels every day, but it means they probably have, and still know how to use the washing machine
Operational Excellence: One of the greatest possible points of failure for any business comes from operations and the inability to codify excellence consistently. Simply put, making sure everyone is cooking with the same recipe every day, and doing it well. In the most basic sense, this requires two things: customer focused processes and regular review of those processes for alignment to the end goal of delighting customers. Whether its creating operational processes from scratch or following directives, this comes down to culture, training and consistency; and it’s the foundation for growth in your business.
Elevated Standards: One of the most visible and commonly understood elements of any successful brand and its ability to scale is repeatability. However, repeatability is as much about people as it is about environment and quality. Once operational standards are in place, consistent focus on quality and delivery are the key. Your customers should always know what to expect from you, and it should be a positive impression.
Legacy: The best in the business realize that they cannot do it all alone, nor can they achieve growth objectives by doing everything themselves. The measure of a leader lies in their ability to create other leaders, not followers. Thus, you should seek to create a circle of frontrunners holding the banner for growth, development and consistency. Empowered to meet needs, make decisions, solve problems and respond; this group knows the business trajectory and is able to implement strategy even in the absence of ‘the boss.’ The growth potential of a single driven individual is far less than that of an empowered team sharing a single vision.
As you can see, none of the elements listed are a mystical secret sauce taught only in business schools or impossible to achieve. These are simple practices, that when applied with consistency, tenacity and passion become that the best do better than the rest of the pack.