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If you want values in the workplace, start at home


It started when my sons were young kids. Husband Doug and I wanted to install values in Ben and Sam, now 27 and 22, respectively—one of which was a work ethic. You’re never sure if they are picking up on it at the time, because mainly they are sighing heavily when you insist, “I’ve asked you three times, now turn off the TV and finish cleaning your room!”

Or when Ben, a high school sophomore at the time, reported in a long-suffering voice he had told his manager at Starbucks he wanted to give away some of his assigned chores to someone else. He had too many—you know, WAY more than anyone else. When he told me the manager had said, “You can handle it,” I closed my eyes and sent her a mental note of thanks that she hadn’t let him off the hook. I also informed him he was to never do that again: “You do those jobs, and when you’re done, you ask for more!” I informed him haughtily, and probably a little self-righteously.

I kinda thought the values I’ve been discussing (a.k.a. harping on) were getting through, but then I got proof. Ben was working as a “loan specialist” for a bank, when he noticed some of the colleagues slow waaaaay down when they got close to their quota. “I’m thinking, I’m there to work, right?” Ben told me. “Why do I want to slow down?” A few months later, Ben was promoted. His workmates? Let go. Whew—Ben DID get it.

I was thinking about values as I read this issue of Franchise Times. It is literally a theme throughout, although I’m not sure Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen planned it that way. (Was it kismet?) For instance, take her cover story on Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau.

As part of our Fast and Serious coverage this month, an annual ranking of the fastest and smartest growing franchises in the nation, Planet Fitness blew the top off the No. 1 spot. Rondeau and his co-founders started with one gym all those years ago, and today are a public company with 1,040 units. Leading a public company is heady stuff, but “the success is believing in the culture and not wavering over time,” he told Beth about the company he built from the ground up.

Mary Jo Larson

Mary Jo Larson

Reach Mary Jo at 612-767-3208
or mlarson@franchisetimes.com

Another Fast and Serious leader, one of 40 that Beth and her editorial team reported on for this feature: Chuck Runyon of Anytime Fitness. Years ago, Anytime was a fledgling concept building stores at a promising clip. But Runyon found out things could go wrong if corporate and franchisees didn’t dance together, so to speak. He instituted CAT, which stands for Communications, Alignment and Trust. If there is a problem now, he knows it will come back to one of those three values not being followed. It’s like having a guidepost, he says.

And then there’s the piece on Dina Dwyer-Owens, co-chair of the Dwyer Group, an umbrella company for a variety of home improvement brands. The energetic Dwyer-Owens spoke to the House of Representatives’ GOP retreat about the importance of living your values, no small honor. Values, she told the lawmakers, are what guide you as a leader.

She must know—she wrote a book on the subject.

We, too have value for our readers, including  two regular columns that debut in this issue: The Urbane Franchisor, by Tom Kaiser, who is covering the move to the city by franchise brands; and Multi-Unit Mindset by Nicholas Upton, who will share top-notch advice from multi-unit franchisees.

So start reading. We think you’ll find the info packed into this issue value-filled and valuable.

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