Greg Nathan’s Healthy Franchise Relationships 2-Minute Tip
As we’ve been reflecting on mother’s during the past week, I wanted to share Greg Nathan’s article he sent out late last week about the mums in his life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did…
Lessons from Wise Mums
“In 2012 we decided not to renew the lease on our offices in Brisbane, and allow the FRI team to work from home. I am sometimes asked what prompted this decision. While I would like to say it was a cutting edge productivity and life balance experiment, the truth is, Ann and I just wanted to be closer to our aging parents who lived in Melbourne.
So off the team went to work from their respective homes, and off Ann and I went to Melbourne to find a new home. As it turns out, it has indeed been an interesting productivity and life balance experiment. While our quality of life has improved, our quality of work and our team productivity have also evolved to a whole new level.
Does working from home work?
Take today. I needed to go into town for a meeting. While I sat with three clients on the 12th floor of their city building, two of my team were beamed into the board room on my laptop – Nic from her Gold Coast apartment overlooking the beach, and Alex from his Melbourne apartment. We could all see and hear each other, and had a productive and engaging discussion.
After the meeting I texted Magda, my EA, to see if she was okay for a quick phone catch up. She responded, ‘In parent teacher consultations. Back at 3pm.’ I loved that text because it meant she’d been able to slip over to her kids’ school without having to ask for permission or organise a day off. On reflection I’m proud of the way we have all been able to weave our work and family responsibilities into a seamless whole, especially the four mums on the team who have 12 kids between them, while getting a heck of a lot done, and having a lot of fun in the process!
Speaking of mums, and given this Sunday is Mother’s Day, I am going to close this Tip with some personal comments.
Two special mums
While my dad passed away as we were settling into Melbourne, it has been a delight to be able to spend more time with our respective mums. Ann’s mum turned 102 this year, still lives in her own home, and enjoys a great quality of life playing and winning weekly Bridge tournaments. As well as her gardening and other interests, she bakes a cake for me each week and will often cook dinner for us both on a Sunday evening. Joan has always been a positive, productive person whose favourite saying is, ‘If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly!’ In other words, forget the excuses and just get on with doing stuff.
My mum, who turns 87 this year, also lives independently and, despite failing eyesight, still makes her own way over every Sunday morning to iron my shirts, play with our puppy Leo, and beat us both at Scrabble. Her favourite saying is ‘Things are never what they seem!’ In other words, stay on the ball and don’t be gullible. Shirley has a sharp wit and a killer sense of humour, to the point that she has been allocated the task of telling a new joke to her friends at the end of their weekly meditation class at the retirement village where she lives.
It has also been interesting to observe how our relationship with our mums has evolved in recent years. The old parent-child tensions and feelings of having to prove ourselves seem to be giving way to a more relaxed friendship, based on mutual acceptance and respect.
Trying to impress
Speaking of children trying to prove themselves, I will close with one of Shirley’s jokes. Mother’s Day was approaching and three competitive brothers wanted to impress their mum. The eldest said he was going to buy her a brand new Rolls-Royce. Not wanting to be outdone, the middle son decided to purchase her a beautiful new apartment at Surfers Paradise. Hearing this, the youngest went in search of something really special, and eventually found a rare parrot that spoke five languages. It cost him a fortune but he thought it would keep her company and remind her of him.
Mother’s Day came and they presented their gifts. A month later when they were visiting, the eldest son asked eagerly, ‘So mum, how are you enjoying the Rolls-Royce?’ She shrugged. ‘I actually think I am too old to be driving so it is still parked in the garage where you left it, but I do appreciate the thought. I think it’s best if you take it home with you.’
The middle son then asked keenly, ‘So mum, have you been to Surfers Paradise yet to stay in your new apartment?’ She squirmed. ‘You know what, I really am quite tired these days and don’t want to be travelling all that way, but I do appreciate the thought. Why don’t you just keep it for your family.’
She then turned to the youngest son, and with a beaming smile opened her arms with joy. ‘But you, thank you so much for the chicken. It was absolutely delicious!’
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference. To mums everywhere, thank you for everything you have done and for everything you do. Happy Mother’s Day!”
“For the second year in a row, we have brought Greg Nathan into work with our support center and field teams. Once again, he knocked it out of the park and we’ve heard nothing but positives from our attendees. He created a fun and engaging environment for our very diverse audience which included HR, Training, Field Operations, Legal, Franchise Administration, Field Marketing for all brands and Real Estate Development – every single participant felt they received great value from attending. His interactive sessions created so much opportunity for practical learning that he literally had us all on the edge of our seats! The remarkable thing about working with Greg is his gift for making you feel as though he is one of our organization’s leaders – he wasn’t just a guy who took a few notes on the company and then went out to present. He internalized our culture and spoke right to US, giving practical, immediately usable information. Every facilitator should do that – but they don’t! Greg has a unique talent, and we love continuing to learn from him and look forward to our next level of Franchise Relationships 2.0!”
– VP of Training and Development, FOCUS Brands
Thanks, Greg! I think you have us all reflecting about the mothers in our lives…and perhaps THEIR favorite sayings.
P.S. If you’re unfamiliar or would like to purchase copies of Greg’s transformational books on franchise relationships, here’s more information.