TOP SHELF Empower , innovate , delegate , and disrupt
Allan Young will tell you straight
up that his job begins and ends with accountability . It ’ s just the way the 46-year-old CEO of Noble Brands sees it . “ My job is to remain accountable for the entire organization , while delegating almost every responsibility ,” he says . Even though that may seem , as he puts it , an “ uncomfortable dynamic to understand and live with ,” he embraces it with gusto and says it has been life changing to his role as a CEO .
Young also understands that it ’ s imperative for him to set the vision of the organization . “ I am passionate about my vision for the future of our companies and rely strongly on my leadership team to accomplish that vision ,” he says . And he
NAME : Allan Young
TITLE : CEO
COMPANY : Noble Brands
UNITS : 160 ShelfGenie , 8 Outback GutterVac
AGE : 46
YEARS IN FRANCHISING : 10
YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION : 10
sees himself as a better leader when he ’ s encouraging the team to push decisionmaking as far out into the organization as possible .
Noble Brands is an Atlanta-based franchisor of two concepts . ShelfGenie began
Allan Young franchising in 2008 and has 160 locations throughout 29 states and Canada . Outback GutterVac , was launched in 2012 and just began franchising in late 2016 .
Young doesn ’ t shy away from progressive strategies such as empowerment , innovation , and disruption . In fact , he embraces it . “ In 2015 we acquired a manufacturing and distribution company to get vertically integrated and control our quality , production , and delivery model ,” says Young . “ In 2016 we turned our different service departments into separate companies that operate as autonomous start-ups in a Noble Brands incubator model .”
Young says these moves and more have set the foundation for rapid growth with their current brands and set the stage for new products and companies in the future .
What is your role as CEO ? My role starts and ends with accountability . My job is to remain accountable for the entire organization , while delegating almost every responsibility . If you truly embrace that as a CEO , you have a big issue to solve . Accountability comes after the execution of a plan or task is done , not done , or not done well . Responsibility should happen both before and after the execution of a plan or task . If you fully embrace that you need to delegate responsibility and are ultimately accountable for everything , your first reaction is probably going to be , “ That ’ s not fair .” Early on , I spent many years saying I understood that dynamic , but I didn ’ t take the difficult steps necessary to fully embrace that reality and work successfully in it .
Learning how to delegate responsibility while remaining accountable for the actions of my team was life changing in my role as a CEO . I had to learn that my job is to lay out a clear vision for the organization , which is the “ what ” and “ why ” of where we are going . Those are the responsibilities I can ’ t delegate . I had to get comfortable with fully delegating the “ how ” to the rest of my team . Most of us are wired to not give up the “ how ” because when we do , our natural assumption is that we lose control . I ’ ve found that as you begin to delegate more responsibility , mistakes and