Leadership lessons in franchising


“Employees perform at their best when they are set up to succeed,” explains Morne Cronje, Head of FNB Franchise. Today, we find that more and more successful leaders are surrounding themselves with people who are better than themselves.

Success in business means looking further than just your basic business model and strategy. Successful leaders are those who have invested in the right talent, built and developed meaningful relationships over time, lived the company culture, vision and mission. “Leaders today need to look at opportunities that were previously unseen or unheard off. It is this mindset that encourages employees to think differently, innovate and disrupt the current status quo,” explains Cronje.

Leadership lessons can be seen with the success of  Sorbet the chain of beauty salons which has seen the business grow to over 117 outlets. Ian Fuhr, CEO Sorbet explains that, “Leadership style determines the performance of your employees. Building a brand in a new and unfamiliar industry requires dedication but also a staff compliment that understands your companies’ culture.”

“Success should be measured by the contribution you have made to other peoples’ lives. I have come to learn that life and business is not only about self-enrichment. If you have accumulated wealth without having touched the lives of other people in a positive way, then your achievements are meaningless and shallow,” notes Fuhr.

Franchises need to continually refresh there business model with new knowledge, skill sets, products  and services to ensure that they remain viable in the business environment. Cronje explains that companies need to be able to:

  • Trust employees enough to understand individual strengths and weaknesses. The ability to do this will prepare you for the opportunities, challenges and put you through any situation.
  • Manage the way you lead. This will help you be efficient and accountable for your business and staff and also define your brand identity in the market.
  • Have faith in your team and their abilities. By doing this it greatly influences positivity, decisions and shapes your brand.
  • Encourage your team to innovate and be different. Innovation leads to ideas that could take your brand to the next level
  • Take calculated risks. Not all risks are equal in business, but learning how to balance the pros and cons and make well thought-out decisions for your company requires a certain amount of risk taking.
  • Introduce a mentorship programme. The programme will improve productivity; elevate knowledge transfer and support skills upliftment and development in your company.

Any business is an extension of your life and family. “Together, this mutually rewarding relationship can help a company grow, innovate and lead.  An entrepreneurial mindset needs to be created within the South African environment, that will not only challenge employees to think differently but also to reinvent themselves and the industries that they are in,” concludes Cronje.


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