As a business leader, one has the responsibility to maintain a brave face to tackle anything that gets thrown their way – but let’s be honest … absolutely no one was ready for the impact on mental health and overall burn out inflicted by the pandemic, and with that, it becomes hard to remain positive and optimistic, even over a year later.
Franchise Chatter had the opportunity to hear from a CEO of a restaurant franchise – likely one of the most impacted industries – Scott Deviney with Chicken Salad Chick. He knew that, no matter what, the company had to be willing to run toward the problem, embrace it, and not let it physically and mentally shut you down. It just wasn’t an option for Scott, the Chicken Salad Chick brand, and its franchise network comprised of 180 restaurants across 17 states.
In order to help his colleagues on the corporate level and family of franchise partners, Scott coined the four “Be’s” to navigate through this pandemic era as we surpass one year of COVID-19.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Before we dive into your Four Be’s, what led you to create the Four Be’s and how does it impact your leadership approach throughout the pandemic?
Scott Deviney (SD): This has been something that has guided me, as a leader, throughout my own obstacles and times of uncertainty, even before the pandemic. Understanding how detrimental the pandemic has been for our franchise owners is one thing, but being able to find a way to connect with them and show them that we are there for them through it all, is another.
It isn’t possible to truly connect with hundreds of individuals without first taking a step back yourself, as a leader, to create that genuine connection – which is especially crucial in times of crisis. That’s why I established the “four be’s” – a tangible way to remind myself to be positive, authentic, self-aware and vulnerable, as it can be difficult for business leaders to ground themselves.
FC: What are your “Four Be’s” and how can other franchisors establish a more humanized and genuine leadership style?
1. Be Positive: There’s always a light at the end of a tunnel and a path through a difficult time – but you won’t get there if you have a narrowed focus and negative outlook. In order to help guide your team through difficulty, establishing genuine positivity and an action plan behind it, will only benefit the morale of your team.
2. Be Authentic: As a business leader, it can often cause one to lose sight of their quirks and authentic personality in order to fulfill the role. Humanizing yourself and showcasing your true, raw emotions and passion with your team will not only spur creativity and innovation, but will encourage those around you to approach you with new ideas that will drive your brand to success.
3. Be Self-Aware: Being aware of your past experiences, mistakes and learnings throughout your career that led to this specific role will allow you to connect better with your team and give the advice they may need to instill a refreshed mindset. I was a franchise owner first, and I bring that mindset and mentality to the business. Being once in their shoes, I have a perspective and understanding of what truly goes into being a franchisee and can relate to Chicken Salad Chick’s franchise network.
4. Be Vulnerable: We’re all human and make mistakes. No matter who you are on the team, own your actions and humanize yourself. This starts by building a culture that supports making mistakes – treating it as an opportunity to fix problems with creative, forward-looking solutions. This can be established by creating an open dialog for constructive and positive feedback in order to help improve operations or communication across the system.
To learn more about Chicken Salad Chick and its franchise opportunity, please visit: https://www.chickensaladchick.com/franchising/