Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine Issue III, 2017 - Page 21

2017 MVP AWARDS people on the plane,” he says. “It left an indelible mark.” Friedman is passionate about help- ing his team manage care by employing skilled eyes on every case. In August, he plans to open his own school for home health aide training and “cherry pick” the graduates. “Massachusetts is unlicensed, so on a good day it is chaos,” he says. “I believe that, regardless of whether there is a li- cense, I set the bar as to how my agency operates, above any level licensing you could ever consider throwing at me.” Friedman says he is very much hum- bled to receive the Spirit of Franchis- ing Award. “I was surprised when they told me, because I can be a very difficult franchisee because I’m not willing to just accept the company plan,” says Fried- man, who credits his franchisor for being “willing to put up with my challenge to MANAGEMENT Business philosophy: Always meet or surpass your commitments. Solve problems, don’t contrib- ute to them. Management method or style: Leadership is the ability to inspire others to follow you. Everything you do reflects on who you are as a person. Never ask an employee to do something you are not will- ing, or shown you are willing, to do. Greatest challenge: It comes from my defini- tion of leadership. Leadership is the ability to inspire other people to follow you, and that is all it ever is. You have to truly believe the direction you are go- ing, and you have to be honest with people about what it means. You have to inspire others to follow you. If not, you are not a leader; you are just one person walking a path. My greatest challenge is to challenge myself that I always believe in that direc- tion, so that I’m not misleading other people and that I’m actively leading the people who choose to follow me in the direction we want to go. So the greatest challenge is internal honesty about what you are doing that you are also asking others to do. It is not a challenge because it is hard—you have to challenge yourself to do that every day. BOTTOM LINE Annual revenue: $4.7 million in 2016. 2017 goals: $5.2 million-plus. Growth meter: How do you measure your growth? It’s about quality, not size. I will cut growth plans to keep quality high and be the place my employees want to work. Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? To be the most re- spected agency in my market. 10 years? Retired. What are you doing to take care of your employees? We have great benefits, education opportunities, and feel strongly about promoting from within. What kind of exit strategy do you have in place? 2024 plan: Keep ownership, but provide incentives for the leadership team. Sell internally. Sell and exit. keep the bar high to deliver excellence as a whole.” Friedman serves on the brand’s National Advisory Council and has an open-door policy for prospective and fellow franchisees. “What makes franchising work is when the franchisees invest back into the system,” he says. “If all the indi- vidual franchisees stop giving back into the system, the opportunities stagnate. Part of the value of a franchise is that we have 200 franchisees, representing 300 territories in the United States. Build- ing on each other’s successes is what the royalties are all about. It is investing into the collective, so we all get better faster and we all refine things faster and make fewer mistakes—especially in this busi- ness, when we are engaged in people’s lives. If we make a mistake and 199 other people don’t make that same mistake it can make a big difference.” 2017 MVP AWARDS Spirit of Franchising Award Why do you think you were recognized with this award? I have invested myself in the success of both my agency (franchise) and that of the franchise system. I helped re-form our FAC and have held the na- tional chair role for six years. I have led the FAC service and offer committee for four of those years, a sales pro- cess initiative, and our technology committee as well. I am an enthusiastic supporter of our brand and consider it an honor to speak to prospective franchisees, and I have an open door if they want to make a due diligence call. I think it is my strong belief that each franchisee has a responsibility to not just take from the system but to give back that earns the support of the franchisor and my peers. My business extends that philosophy to the com- munities we serve. We sponsor key local activities and local aspects of national elder care needs (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, healthy aging initiatives, etc.). We provide extensive professional education for our communities and others in healthcare as well as family education on navigating elder care decisions, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, recovery risk management, and other topics. How have you raised the bar in your own company? We consistently seek to be a top performer both in results and in methods. We strive to promote the highest reasonable standard at all times and share our approach with our peers in the system. What innovations have you created and used to build your company? Focus on institutional contracts. Development and pilot of our soon to be national Recovery Care offering. What core values do you think helped you win this award? Commitment to doing it right—no exception. Investment in people to get it right. Willingness to be wrong, learn, and adjust. How do others describe you? Aggressive (from a business perspective), compassionate, and fair. How important is community involvement to you and your company? I am passionate about being engaged in our communities. Professionally, we are active in three Chambers of Commerce in our served markets. We serve on Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s advisory committees. We are a resource for numer- ous councils on aging and first responders, as they too serve our elder population. Personally, I have always been active communally. I was the founding president of my synagogue, which was formed from the consolidation of two synagogues of doubtful longevity. That was a six-year process and we are now over 10 years old. I have also sat on community nonprofit boards. How do you hire and fire, train and re- tain? This is simple. Treat others as you expect to be treated. What leadership qualities are most important to you and your team? We have leaders at all levels of my company! Lead as you would want to be led. Listen first. Always have a measured response. Don’t be afraid to lead (make decisions), but enable your team to get there. Enable others to succeed. MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEE IS S U E III, 2017  19