Leading the Service Industry Blog

A Series on Leadership: Belonging to the C Suite

by Mary Kennedy Thompson on July 19, 2016

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As a small business owner and franchisee, you wear all of the “C Suite” hats. You’re the CEO, usually the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and often the Chief Marketing Officer.  Sometimes you also need to be the Chief Cheerleader. Belonging to the C Suite takes incredible energy, a focused approach, and caring, more than just about anyone else, about all that must be done.

I’ve found the three most important C’s to own in the C Suite are courage, conviction, and connection.

Courage – Courage is not about not having fear.  It’s about acting even when you are afraid. It takes showing up, standing up, and speaking up. C Suite leaders make sure to do those three things every day, no matter the challenges or obstacles. They also help those in their organization to do the same.

Conviction – C Suite leaders understand where they stand on their convictions. They are respected because they have the courage of their convictions. Having a code of values is a great way to live with conviction and share with your team. It will draw like-minded people to your organization and provide clarity in difficult situations. At Dwyer Group, when we combine our Code of Values with standing by our word, we’re building a company that is on solid ground. Say yes and mean it. Say no and mean it. Most of our challenges come from our inability to say no because we do not have clarity.  Values come from personal clarity.

Connection – The one trait I’ve seen in the strongest leaders I’ve known is they are connected to people in many ways.  C Suite franchise leaders value and work on their connections within their communities, in their families, with their teams, in their brand, and they appreciate the connection with their customers. What are you doing each day to nurture your connections? Connected people create healthy organizations. Healthy organizations grow at a faster rate than any other kind of company.

Matt Kelly shared that those who are engaged in their life and in their work believe the future will be bigger than the past, and they can do something about building a brighter future. They are people of possibility. They get things done no matter the challenge.  People of possibility multiply the talent on a team.  As you own the C Suite, don’t forget that often the most important work we will do is to teach ourselves, and those on our team, not to let what we cannot do interfere with what we can do.

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Mary Kennedy Thompson

Mary Kennedy Thompson has a long history with the Dwyer Group and now serves as the company Chief Operating Officer. Mary is an expert in business, franchising, leadership and plumbing!

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