Grow Market Lead as more and more consumers search for healthier alternatives, we plan to be there in more and more locations and markets.” powerful tool we have to influence behavior is leading through our own example. LEADERSHIP best preparation for leadership includes both. While I don’t have an MBA (I do have an MA in Latin American history), the university setting requires you to hone your critical thinking skills, work in groups, and learn how to articulate your ideas both verbally and in writing. These skills create the framework for evaluation that you can use every day. Nevertheless, there is absolutely no substitute for OTJ. Our greatest learning comes from doing and by making mistakes, taking responsibility for our actions and moving forward. Until you are in a position where you must live through the consequences of your decisions it is just theoretical. What is your role as CEO? To provide the vision for our company, to lay down the foundation of our culture, to motivate our staff to reach their greatest potential in performance, and to allocate resources to achieve our preferred outcomes. Describe your leadership style. I ap- proach every relationship believing that most of us are trying to do the best we can. I seek and expect the very best in people. I believe we rise to the expectations put upon us. What has inspired your leadership style? I am fortunate to have had a number of mentors who profoundly influenced my leadership style. I start with my father, who was a successful businessman willing to take great risks. He understood that half the battle in life is to show up and fight for what you think is right. Personal integrity was his motivating value. He taught me to seek out like-minded people with shared values so that together we can build something of significance. What is your biggest leadership challenge? To translate the vision. What may be so clear to me becomes increasingly diffused as it is interpreted through the layers of management. It is easier to influence on a one-to-one basis. As the organization grows it becomes more about what you accomplish through others rather than any one thing that you are doing yourself. How do you transmit your culture from your office to front-line employees? It starts with clear communication. The foundation of our corporate culture is a clearly articulated and rigorously applied statement of our company’s mission, vision, and values. This statement is reviewed annually at company-wide meetings. Ultimately, I think the most 12 Franchiseupdate Iss u e II, 2 0 1 3 Where is the best place to prepare for leadership: an MBA school or OTJ? The Are tough decisions best taken by one person? How do you make tough decisions? Good decisions are based upon reliable and accurate information. I have always tried to surround myself with people who can give me good counsel and, importantly, listen carefully to what they have to say. What makes a decision “tough” is when there is conflicting information and/or uncertainty about the consequences. Nobody can predict the future perfectly. To make those tough decisions, after I have gathered the relevant information, I then rely on my own base of experience and trust my intuition. Do you want to be liked or respected? I would hope that being liked and being respected are not mutually exclusive. However, in leadership roles there are times when you must make decisions that are not universally popular and won’t make everyone happy. If a desire to be liked becomes the primary driver of your decision-making, then you set yourself up for disappointment and, ultimately, failure. Far better to be respected for the integrity of your decisions than worrying about how many people like you. Advice to CEO wannabes: Virtually every moment of our lives is an opportunity to influence others. You don’t wait until you have a certain title before you can be a leader. Focus on doing the right thing. Find your own style and voice. It is your authenticity that gives people a reason to follow. MANAGEMENT Describe your management style: I prefer an inclusive and engaged management style based upon an opendoor approach and a foundation of clear communication. I want my staff to feel comfortable to come to me with any issue that is important to them. My responsibility is to make sure that they have everything they need to perform at their highest level, and expect them to do so. What does your management team look like? It is a group of extremely talented, high-performers who work collaboratively. They support each other. They share challenges and stay focused on creating solutions. How does your management team help you lead? First of all, we hold each other to the same high standards of integrity and competence. I work hard to make sure that the team understands and shares the vision, and empower them to execute. They help by ensuring that we all have the information required to make correct decisions. Nobody has all the answers, but we have a better chance of making the right decisions by tapping into the collective wisdom of the team. I seek to surround myself with leaders who profoundly understand their own disciplines and have the capacity to hear alternative approaches. Favorite management gurus: Do you read management books? I have a passion for reading with interests quite eclectic. I probably have a dozen halfread books around me at any given time, ranging from management books to biographies and literature. I have found anything written by Malcolm Gladwell worth reading.