The Waitress, The Banker and The Doctor

This story is about three people linked together by generosity, faith, curiosity and food.

The waitress happens to be our Marketing and Events Manager. Katherine Saunders. You may have met Katherine, a friendly, well mannered and forthright, young Englishwoman. She and her husband Braden were saving to make a special trip to England for her sister's wedding. Rather than push for a raise she asked if I minded her doing some part time waitressing a few nights a week in a well known Brisbane restaurant.

Katherine and I had been working relentlessly on preparations for our Field Manager Summit, a massive six day event. As part of the program we wanted to hold a series of complementary leadership dinners for Franchise Operations Executives. We just needed a sponsor that could help out with suitable venues and food. I was considering giving up on the idea as we'd been knocked back three times, but Katherine was convinced it would work out.

One night at her waitressing job she overheard some guys at a table having an animated discussion about franchising. Being a curious soul she wandered over to introduce herself and find out what they were so excited about

Putting your money where your mouth is

It turned out they were franchisor executives having dinner with their franchise banker, Darryn McCauliffe from the National Australia Bank. Katherine enthusiastically told them what she did as a day job, the Field Manager Summit and how we were looking for some help with the Leadership Dinner.

We've all heard the big banks spout about how generous and interested they are in our success, but Darryn genuinely listened to what Katherine had to say and what we were trying to achieve through the Summit. He then went out on a limb at short notice to organise for us to hold our Leadership Dinners in the bank's Board rooms. For a bank that advertises more give and less take, I call this putting your money where your mouth is.

Giving something back

The next character in our story, Dr Sam Prince, is a 26 year old medical practitioner and founder of the Zambrero Fresh Mex Grill franchise. He has spearheaded several innovative humanitarian projects including establishing 13 schools in developing countries through his Emagine Foundation and initiating the "One Disease at a Time" organisation, dedicated to eliminating the problematic disease, scabies, from Australian Aboriginal communities.

Sam was guest speaker at two of our NAB sponsored Leadership Dinners and was an absolute inspiration. His message was there will always be people ready and willing to lend a hand if you have a worthwhile goal and are prepared to ask for help.

Food for thought

What has especially impressed me about the people in this story has been their generosity and curiosity. For instance Sam never hesitated when I asked him as a favour to speak at the dinners, and after each talk he texted me to say thanks and how much he had learned from the other participants!

I suspect the fact that these encounters took place while people were sharing a meal is also not a coincidence and is further food for thought.

By the way if you want to learn more about the work of Dr Sam Prince, a good place to start is www.emagine.org.au. He is an example of a franchisor that is putting back into the community at a whole new level.

Until next time,

Greg Nathan

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