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Volume 1, Issue 23
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Leading Edge Coaching & Development




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Leadership from the Leading Edge


Recently, Brian Schnell and the leaders at Faegre Baker Daniels held what Brian promised ahead of time to be one of the best Franchise Summits ever, and I have to say, I think he was absolutely right!  Launching the meeting with a special two-hour Leadership Workshop custom crafted by Leading Edge Coaching & Development set the tone for a fabulous 1½ day deep-dive into every aspect of effective leadership – from self-leadership to helping franchisees effectively lead their own front-line teams, over 100 franchise leaders, representing over 50 brands, covered it all.


New to the SPEAK! team, Leading Edge Coaching & Development (led by Carol Grannis and Cindy Maher) delivered some significant content in an often hilarious format. What an incredible pair!  Their teaching style is completely different from any other speakers we work with.  The most significant difference is the unique way that they create a process where audience members truly embrace and take ownership of valuable interpersonal skills and behaviors. Cindy and Carol use a blend of research, best practices, interactive discussion and improvisational comedic scenes that bring the learning alive.

But don’t just take my word for it – take a look at this testimonial clip from franchise industry leader, Keith Gerson.


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Mastering the Art of Effective Facilitation
One of the things that really stood out at this year’s Faegre Baker Daniels Franchise Summit was watching great facilitators at work.  The Leading Edge team of Carol Grannis and Cindy Maher are professional adult educators and a big part of their remarkable delivery is their razor-sharp facilitation skills.  But I want to also give a ‘shout out’ to Brian Schnell for his masterful facilitation of the outstanding CEO panels scheduled throughout the event.
Brian executed perfectly on the key components of effective facilitation which include:


1.     Designing and planning the process and key objectives ahead of time – in this case a focus on Leadership in all aspects of a franchise system.

2.     Guiding and controlling the group process to ensure that there is effective participation from both panel and audience members – the entire event from start to finish was an interactive and dynamic experience!

3.     Recording Outcomes to ensure that actions and questions are properly recorded and actioned – Brian repeatedly reminded attendees to record our ‘Golden Nuggets’ from each session on the action sheets provided.


When planning your franchise convention, keep in mind that Panel of the Pros sessions are consistently the highest ranked and most popular.  Mining the collective intelligence of experienced franchisees from your own system stimulates creative ideas, creates meaningful dialogue and is delivered with rock-solid credibility.  Franchisees walk away feeling that insights and tips gleaned from their peers can immediately be implemented in their own businesses.

But be aware – having a skilled facilitator manage these sessions is a must!  

A good facilitator will keep the panel on topic and contributing to a positive outcome, make sure that everyone is making an equal and meaningful contribution, and engage the audience through the process.

In thinking about Brian’s skills as a facilitator and why this event was so wonderfully successful, I came across this great article on what it takes to be a great facilitator that might be helpful:




More soon…




P.S. Check out these fun 2013 Faegre BD Franchise Summit pics…


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Panel of the Pros: Steve Overholser, CFO Great Clips; Donald Burleson, EVP Jani-King; Sam Ballas, President & CEO East Coast Wings; Shelly Sun, CEO BrightStar; Steve Davidson, CEO Robekssequat.


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Carol Grannis, Rhoda Olsen, Katrina Mitchell, & Cindy Maher


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Donald Burleson of Jani-King International and Carol Grannis


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Rooftop Revelry – left to right: John Francis of Twin State Development, Boris Katsnelson of Mountain Ridge Capital & Eric Stites of Franchise Business Review


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Brian and the gang having big fun at the networking dinner


Katrina Mitchell 
Chief Match Maker
Franchise Speakers That Deliver!

We know the Franchise World.  It’s all we do.

303-669-9905 Cell
katrinalmitchell (skype)


Published on Wednesday August 14, 2013

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“Leading Edge has been offering leadership development sessions for our Franchise Owners for the last three years.  We have welcomed them to all of our learning venues and they are a hit every time. I have never witnesses such enthusiasm by participants in learning about leadership – and they have impacted our franchisees and our entire franchise system in a positive way.  They remind us about the powerful human element in leadership.”


Chuck Runyon, CEO
Anytime Fitness


“Carol and Cindy are passionate and hilariously funny with their presentation.  The style they use will cause concepts presented to “stick”.  Everyone who interacts with people at all needs the information these ladies provide.  Leading Edge teachings are a beautifully arranged gift, in an even more beautiful package.”


Paige Peterson, Franchise Owner, 2013
Anytime Fitness


“Carol is energetic and passionate about what she does…much like us!!”


Franchise Owner, 2011
Anytime Fitness



“Leading Edge was very engaging and kept the audience on their toes because we weren’t sure what she was going to do next. The stories that they used to illustrate examples were ones that the audience could relate to so it wasn’t confusing and really made sense. Having us do small exercises in between speaking was also great because we were able to put to use what was just spoke about and we didn’t forget it.”


Franchise Owner, 2012
Anytime Fitness



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