The Mental Downside of Digital Devices

Prior to the funeral of a close relative, our extended family were sitting together immersed in thought. While it was a sad time, several young people were smiling as they texted on their phones. I quietly suggested this might not be appropriate and they popped the phones away. Ten minutes later the tapping and grinning had recommenced. These are good kids and I knew they weren’t deliberately being rude or insensitive. They were however showing signs of addiction — the conscious repeating of a behaviour, despite the harm caused to oneself or others, because it is pleasurable. In other words, you can’t stop doing it even though you want to. Read entire post

The Toilet Cleaner

In my early 20s, while completing my psychology degree, I lived in a small flat attached to the Yoga Education Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Each week over 1000 students attended classes at this Centre. In lieu of rent I assisted the Centre’s caretaker, David, with the evening routine of folding hundreds of blankets and the morning routine of cleaning the Centre’s seven toilets. Read entire post

When Things Go Wrong

I’ve just returned from the Australian National Franchise Convention on the Gold Coast. Each elevator in the resort had a comfortable leather seat at the back. It’s an unusual but nice touch. On the second evening of the Convention, when going up to my room on the 17th floor, the elevator suddenly shuddered and stopped. A red light began to flash and the lady who usually so pleasantly tells us what floor we are on, curtly announced several times “This elevator is not in service”. Read entire post

Are You Okay?

Earlier this week I attended an excellent business breakfast on mental health in franchise networks as part of an Australian initiative called R U OK Day. This is an important topic. As a psychologist who has spent most of his life working in the franchising sector, I can tell you that the gremlins of stress and worry are constant companions to most franchisees and franchisor executives and, if these get out of hand, can cause serious health problems, including the ultimate one — suicide. Read entire post

The Remarkable Smile Experiment

I have been on a week’s holiday at the beautiful beaches near Cairns with my wife, Ann. Most people go on a holiday to enjoy themselves so, for the fun of it, I decided to measure how many people appear to be experiencing this sense of enjoyment. Walking along the beach promenade from our apartment at Palm Cove, definitely a piece of paradise, I began sorting people’s faces into two categories, Smilers and Non-Smilers. You may think this is an over simplification as not everyone expresses joy by smiling, but I needed to keep it simple. So let’s call it a pilot experiment. Read entire post

The 10 Habits of Effective Field Managers

A few years ago, on a long haul flight back to Australia, I decided to review what helps field managers to achieve superior performance in their job. This is to help franchisees maximize profits, stay aligned with the brand, and participate constructively in the franchise network. Part of my review involved cross referencing the findings from several FRI studies where we had gathered feedback from senior franchisor executives, franchisees, and field managers. By the time the plane landed, I had also landed on the following 10 habits. I think you’ll find this interesting. Read entire post

A Beautiful Journey

“I am saying a journey is called that because you cannot know what you will discover on the journey, what you will do with what you will find, or what you find will do to you.”
These words by the African-American social commentator, James Baldwin, resonated deeply as I sat in the darkness on a flight to the USA, watching an enthralling documentary on his life. Read entire post

The Three Most Important Qualities of a Leader

I have just come out of two intense days of professional development. The first day involved a presentation to 70 franchising professionals on The Science of Successful Franchising. To prepare for this session, I reviewed FRI’s latest data on what creates an ACE Mindset in franchisees. This is where they Advocate the franchise to others (essential for a network’s growth), are Committed to ongoing investment in their business (essential for brand health), and are Engaged in supporting the strategies of the network (essential for a healthy franchise relationship). A large part of this presentation was on the qualities of effective franchisor leadership because our research has shown this, more than any other factor, influences the ACE Mindset. Read entire post

What’s Your Purpose?

There’s a story of a Prince who had taken over the running of the Kingdom after the sudden death of his peace-loving father. The Prince was inexperienced in the ways of leadership and wanted to prove his worth. His power-hungry generals suggested an invasion would show others his strength (and of course increase their power). Read entire post

Growing with Confidence

Last year Aziz Hashim, Chairman of the IFA, addressed our annual Multi-Unit Summit to an audience of 130 franchisees and franchisor executives. Because Aziz is, amongst other things, a highly successful multi-unit franchisee, he spoke with passion and credibility. His clear and direct message was this. Read entire post


Greg Nathan is a psychologist, author and an international expert on the franchise relationship. Connect with him on Google+ or Linkedin.

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