Why Tough Going Gets the Tough Going

When I asked my wife why she was so enthusiastic about watching the Australian Grand Slam, she explained it was not so much the tennis, but the players’ amazing mental resilience that she found so interesting. Psychologists have recently been focusing more on understanding the psychology of positive performance, not just in sport but all areas of life. This new research field is called Positive Psychology. While the findings often reflect what we intuitively know to be true, such as the value of a positive mental attitude, the power of this research is the way it unlocks the mechanisms behind these healthy habits of thinking. This means we can then consciously work at improving our psychological health. Read entire post

The $2,000 Bottle of Milk

It was 12.30am and my wife and I were dead tired, having just arrived home after a 20 hour flight from Europe. We both felt like a cup of tea but there was no milk in the house. The good news was the 7-Eleven down the road would be open. I always make a point of shopping there, even though I have to walk a bit further, because I like to support the local franchisee. So off I headed into the dark to visit the store. With a large carton of milk in hand I pulled out my wallet to pay. Because the guy behind the counter looked as though he’d also been flying for 20 hours, I thought I’d make the transaction more interesting. Read entire post

The Performance Enhancing Lettuces

A large white pot sits in a courtyard outside my office. A few months ago my wife planted some Impatiens seedlings. The seeedlings soon blosomed into groups of beautiful flowers basking happily in the sun. She then decided to plant some lettuce seedlings in the spaces between the flowers. Conditions must have been perfect because the lettuces grew like mad. You could actually see them stretching up a little more each day. Then something remarkable happened. Read entire post

What Franchisees Are Saying About You

Over the past few months we’ve been asking franchisees for feedback on the quality of operational support and whether they would recommend their field manager to other franchisees. This research is adapted from the Net Promoter Score question, where customers are asked to rate how likely they are to recommend a particular business. The results so far indicate some important shifts in expectations of field support. Read entire post

The Mentor in the Wheelchair

As soon as Cody Everson hit the ground he knew something really bad had happened. And he was right. A crunching rugby tackle had just transformed him from a physically strapping young man into a tetraplegic, paralysed from the chest down. I’ve just watched a moving documentary on Cody’s journey of recovery. But there is another hero in this inspiring story, Sholto Taylor, who is Cody’s independent living coach. Read entire post

Franchisors Get Ready ’Cos Change is Coming

Earlier this week I asked a senior franchisor executive what his biggest challenges were. Without hesitation he responded “Declining sales and people”. While the meaning of declining sales is clear, I asked him to explain what he meant about “people”. He said he was concerned many of their younger managers did not yet have the skills to effectively lead and influence franchisees. I nodded because this is an important issue I’ve observed in many franchise networks. It is also the first of seven trends that are possibly impacting on your business. Here they are, along with some questions to get you thinking about how to put your organisation on the front foot. Read entire post

The Secret Path

Last week my 98 year old mother-in-law, Joan, travelled interstate to hang out with her sisters, who are 100 and 96. Joan has lived alone in a large rambling house in the outer suburbs of Melbourne since her husband died 50 years ago. She plays competitive Bridge every week and regularly wins the “red spot” with her young 80 year old partner, Anne. Twice a week she also looks after the nine year old daughter of a neighbour who has to work late. Read entire post

Why Bullies Make Bad Leaders

I recently watched “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”. It’s a movie about two styles of leadership — one based on love, the other based on fear. Caesar, the thoughtful, alpha male Ape finds himself up against the cunning and ambitious Koba, who seeks to dislodge him as leader. Caeser’s leadership style is calm, firm and fair. He is profoundly respected by the tribe and motivated by a deep commitment to their safety and long-term prosperity. Koba is a bully, motivated by power, insecurity and resentment stemming from his unhappy past.  Read entire post

The Man Who Wouldn’t Leave His Phone Alone

I have just completed an enjoyable three day franchise leadership program in Malaysia with a group of franchisors. At the beginning most participants were staring into their smart phones so I delivered my usual sermon. I explained, according to brain science, the moment they read or send a message on their smart device, their mind virtually leaves the room, which means they may well miss something useful or important. I also pointed out, due to the interactive nature of the program, it would be disrespectful if they chose to focus on their devices rather than their peer discussions. Read entire post

Be the Solution to Email Pollution

I notice there is a lot of advice for coping with the growing onslaught of email pollution, but little on how we can each be more responsible, non-email-polluting citizens. Here are a few suggestions to make reading your emails a more pleasant experience for others: 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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