The Single Most Important Question

I am just back from the International Franchise Association convention in New Orleans, a massive event attended by over 3,000 people. The session that had the biggest impact on me was an address by Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a leading QSR chain of 2,600 stores. Over the past five years Popeyes has had consistent same stores sales growth, a 6% increa 
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Stranger on a Tram

This is a story about the precious gift we called hospitality, based on an unusual experience my wife and I recently had in Sweden. Hospitality is defined in the dictionary as "The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers". I encourage you to read on if you care about this topic. While it was snowing outside, I was chilling out  
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Are You Paying Attention?

A natural leader is a person who has worked out what's going on around them and is willing to be proactive by taking considered action. While you don't need a fancy title, you do need an open mind, concentration, courage and common sense. This Tip introduces a concept known as Situational Awareness, developed by the chief scientist for the US Airforce, Dr. Mica Endsley, and 
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Why I Love the Phantom

It's important to have sources of inspiration to give you a fresh perspective and a boost of energy when you need it. Of course different things work for different people. If you have met me you may be aware one of my sources of inspiration is a stash of a certain type of comic. Yes, I am a dedicated fan of the Phantom, also known as The Ghost Who Walks, especially the ear 
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What Bothers Field Managers

Over the past couple of weeks I have been delivering a series of workshops to franchisor support teams in several Nordic countries. Some new research I've been sharing with our Nordic cousins includes a study of 970 field consultants from 59 companies. A question we asked in the study was the extent to which certain things bothered them. I was telling my wife about one  
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The Truth About Sleep

Welcome to 2014. Over the holidays I heard a brilliant talk by leading sleep expert and psychologist, Jessica Payne, from the University of Notre Dame. She explained the science of sleep and how it impacts on how we feel and function. Her findings, which I'll share with you, are important to anyone who works under mental or emotional pressure. Given that 49% of franchisees 
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The Baker Who Swallowed His Pride

We often talk about the importance of commitment in franchising. But talk is cheap. Commitment is about action and often it means swallowing our fear, or our pride, and doing something that goes beyond short term self-interest. Here's a story of someone who really understood the meaning of the word. While I was studying to be a psychologist I worked early mornings in se 
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Why Your Tone of Voice Matters

Before I tell you about a piece of research that could save you from some serious relationship headaches, even being sued, I'd like to mention something about these Tips. Alexis, who looks after our franchisee satisfaction surveys, said yesterday the Tips give her "wise man moments", which is when you hear something that makes so much sense you can't believe you never thoug 
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The One-Legged Man Who Changed My Life

I've recently been putting together a book of these tips and while rummaging through my files I discovered what could be called "the original tip". It's a remarkable true story I emailed to some clients many years ago. I was on the final leg coming back from Singapore after talking at a Franchise Summit. Ansett had just collapsed and we had all been moved to a Singapore 
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How Not to be an Arrogant Fool

There is a famous TV interview with Jimi Hendrix, soon after his jaw-dropping Woodstock performance, in which the interviewer, Dick Cavett, says "You're considered one of the best guitarists in the world". Hendrix shakes his head, looks down at his fingertips in embarrassment and mutters "How about one of the best sitting in this chair". It is a moment of genuine humility.  
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