Saturday, January 4, 2014

Coaching: Will I make the cut?

The new year has begun with me starting a new/old job. I have re-joined Computer Explorers as Marketing Coordinator and Franchise Support. This means that the lovely lady who replaced me when I left the team in June will continue with operational duties, some of which I will miss and some...not so much. Anyone that knows me knows that I always set out to do a perfect job. Something that sets me up for some bad self-esteem and feelings of failure...because no one can be perfect. One needs to count on a perfect storm in order to be perfect.

For those not in the franchise industry, a franchise support person is a combination of quality control clerk, business partner, therapist and coach to the individual franchisees. It is this last one that I am struggling with this morning. Coach.

As I write this it was just announced that Wade Phillips was fired as the defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans, this just a few weeks after Gary Kubiak was fired as head coach. If you follow football at all you know that after the season the Texans had this year, something needed to be done, maybe this was it. Does failure to perform always fall on the coach? What if I cannot coach franchisees to increased production? Will it be all my fault?

Merriam-Webster defines a coach as someone who teaches, trains and directs a team. I can do all of these verbs - but anyone who has ever heard of Vince Lombardi knows that teaching and training is not all a coach does. A coach inspires!

I KNOW that to increase sales (or business development as it seems to have been white washed into lately) - That one needs to believe in a product, They need to believe in it so hard that any one they talk to is willing to invest hard earned money in it, they need to talk to people, they need to connect with people, they need to know that after they make the sale the rest of their team will follow up and deliver all that the sales person has promised.

How do I do this for my franchisees? Technology education has changed in the last 30 years. Parent's are not longer thrilled to have their kids learn to use the computer...Children practically pop out of the womb understanding click and drag, cut and paste. Technology education is now coding and creating - it is using technology to understand concepts in a way that we never dreamed of 30 years ago...all while clicking and dragging and cutting and pasting appropriately, and being sure that no child has not learned how to find and use the technology tools that will make them successful. Where is the balance between basics and the dream?...all this while getting the people who sign the checks to agree and find the funds in an economy that is stagnant at best? This is a HUGE challenge.

Will I be able to inspire them to jump over or bull doze through the road blocks?....One thing is for sure - I won't be perfect but I will try.

as a side note: I hope that anyone reading this who thinks that corporate franchisors are in business solely for the royalties....now maybe thinks a bit differently. Some of us are in the business to see success for our partners and customers.