Greg Nathan’s Healthy Franchise Relationships 2-Minute Tip

We just love, love, love how Greg Nathan can take something seemingly simplistic and see the lessons in it. (And, for full transparency, we love the puppy picture, too.) Like this little red ball for example…

The Little Red Ball

“The simplest things often bring us the most joy and contain the most important lessons. Like the little red ball. Before I explain why it has been such a source of inspiration, a brief description is in order. Slightly smaller than a tennis ball, it’s hollow and made of tough, springy rubber with hexagonal patterns. This makes it easy to grab and squeeze. It also has a large piece missing from one side which causes it to bounce unpredictably.

Leo, my dog, loves chasing and catching this little red ball, as do his friends in our local dog park. As soon as they see I’ve taken it out of my pocket, they stop their play, drop whatever is in their mouths and race over with that crazed, slightly cross-eyed look that dogs get when they fixate on something. If Maslow had created a Hierarchy of Needs for dogs, I reckon getting hold of the little red ball would be at the top.

Greg Nathan's Dog, Leo

It helps that I’ve developed a kicking style that makes it bounce like a football, with a nice balance of predictability and randomness. Most dogs in the park have a sense of fair play, so the dog that manages to grab it first has the right to do a lap of honor, chewing the ball and throwing its head from side to side, before bringing it back to me for the next kick off.

I’ve recently been thinking about why this little red ball is so popular with dogs, and whether there might be some lessons here for us humans. Here are four things I’ve observed.

Its character comes from its imperfection. The jagged hole in its side, resulting from the rough and tumble it has endured, is what makes the little red ball bounce in such a confident and characteristic manner. If applied to humans, we could call this being comfortable in one’s own skin. Each of us has a unique character that has been shaped from the knocks and scars of experience, and it’s the scar tissue around a healed wound that often makes it stronger. So let’s celebrate our rough edges and scars, remembering these are what make us unique, strong and interesting.

It harnesses the power of others. The little red ball has no power source of its own – it comes to life through the power of others. It is my kick that makes it fly. It is the grass that makes it bounce. And it is the dogs that carry it around the park. In a sense, the little red ball behaves like a facilitator. Great facilitators don’t project themselves onto others. They allow others to provide the energy and do the work, which is precisely why being part of a well-facilitated group is so engaging and enjoyable!

It responds to your energy. Whatever you do to the little red ball, it responds with the same level of energy. Throw it vigorously against a wall, and it comes back at you vigorously. Bounce it gently and it bounces back gently. It behaves like a person with great communication skills who responds intelligently to the energy of others. Effective communicators understand that a fast-talking person likes to talk with someone who can keep up with them, and a quiet, calm person usually likes to have a quiet, calm conversation. Whether you are a ball or a person, adjusting your energy to suit the situation will always make you more pleasant to engage with.

It demonstrates resilience. The little red ball literally bounces back every time. While resilience is talked about a lot these days, it has always been one of the most important human qualities, enabling us to heal and recover from life’s inevitable adversities. If the little red ball could speak, it would probably say something like, ‘Why complain or resist? Accept what life throws you. Relax and flex a little to accommodate the situation. Then use the energy that’s available to bounce back.’

What would happen if we were more comfortable in our own skin, harnessed the power of others more, adjusted our energy to suit each situation, and relaxed a little more when life throws us a challenge? Maybe we could be as popular and resilient as that little red ball!”

Headshot of Greg Nathan, Franchise Relationship Expert
  • Having personally attended Franchise Relations BootCamp and the outstanding session my team had with Greg Nathan, I've benefited tremendously from those experiences. Obviously, there are many management practices that work in any business situation but working with your company enabled us to focus specifically on the franchisee/franchisor arena and how to effectively manage the relationship to the benefit of both parties. I think every franchise system needs this training!

    Gary Yancik, Director of Operations Taco John's
  • We had Greg Nathan recently deliver a custom, 2-day Franchise Relations Boot Camp to 4 of our brands and to our International team. WOW! - what an amazing experience! I continue to get comments from participants saying that they feel much better equipped to help support their Franchise Partners in the field as a result of Greg’s session. His process of teaching the team a new tool or technique, allowing them to develop the concept in small groups and then helping them understand the psychology behind the process and the actual methodology itself was amazing. From our newest Franchise Business Consultant to our Brand Presidents the takeaway value was extremely high. I’ve never experienced any other workshop or presenter who so effectively layers the building blocks of learning. This is an investment that I think every franchise system should make!

    Russ Umphenour, CEO FOCUS Brands
  • You are quite frankly the best in your field.

    David Acheson, Ex-Chairman British Franchising Association
  • Greg Nathan is the master of the dynamics of the franchise relationship, which lies at the core of successful franchising.

    Professor Andrew Terry Centre for Franchise Studies, University of New South Wales
  • Greg Nathan translates pointed headed organisational psychological theory into excellent commercial practice.

    Chris Bothams, National Franchisee of the Year Franchise Council of Australia and Dymocks Franchisee
  • The ‘buzz’ was that your program was terrific. It seemed that all who attended liked the idea that you extended the boundaries of the Forum programming in a unique and very beneficial way.

    Andy Scott, Program Convener American Bar Association Franchising Forum
  • Your presentation was one of the highlights of the Conference. Everyone found it extremely relevant and useful for their business.

    Simon Lord, President Franchise Association of New Zealand
  • Great job at the Franchise Appreciation Day. Your sessions were fantastic.

    Richard Evans, Chief Executive Franchise Council of Australia and Dymocks Franchisee
  • We received an overwhelming response from your presentation.

    Jason Gehrke, Director Franchise Council of Australia, Queensland
  • Greg Nathan presented before the Southeast Franchise Forum in Atlanta and received stupendous reviews.

    Rupert Barkoff, Partner Kilpatrick Stockton
  • We will continue to use your ideas, thoughts and recommendations far into the future. We have used consultants in the past but none has been as helpful as you. You have a very down to earth approach. We couldn't be more impressed.

    Gary Lombard, VP Operations Woodcraft
  • It was truly a pleasure having you come to our conference. Your presentation was fantastic and the feedback from our clients was excellent.

    Dan Martin, President IFX Intranet
  • Superb!! I know everyone got a lot out of the session and I would highly recommend Greg for future speaking engagements.

    Adele Vespa In-House Counsel, Huddle House, USA
  • If you are looking to ensure that your field team and it's leadership are clear on the best ways to maximise the outcomes from the Franchisor/Franchisee relationship, then this workshop is an absolute must.

    Jo Stagg, National Operations Manager Fernwood Women's Health Clubs
  • Our operations team said this was the best group session they have ever experienced.

    Jo Kirchner, President Primrose Schools, USA
  • We were really pleased with the course. It couldn’t have gone any better.

    Michael Chick, Franchise Consultant Coordinator The Coffee Club
  • On behalf of the entire Signs By Tomorrow system, I would like to thank you for your superb presentation and workshops during our National Meeting.

    Joe McGuinness, Founder and President Signs by Tomorrow
  • I have received great feedback, all reinforcing how motivational your presentations were. Your unique appreciation of franchisees’ needs provided both a practical and insightful perspective to all attending. Thank you once again for not just meeting, but surpassing our expectations.

    Andrew Bunn, National Business Development Manager Kumon Insitute of Education
  • Thank you for an informative, professional and humorous presentation. The environment you created from the start greatly assisted in getting franchisees and ourselves working together.

    Graham Bennett, General Manager Liquorland
  • Thank you for helping our franchisees grow. Another great interactive talk. You inspired many.

    Sonia Hunt, Operations Manager Cold Rock
  • We are all absolutely thrilled with your participation with our team. We are continuing to reap the rewards of your work with us.

    Christi Stapleton, VP Marketing UbuildIt
  • I found your method of delivery fantastic and hope to see more of you assisting in the driving of our culture and market share. Thanks very much for your inspiring input to our conference.

    Larry Langdon, Franchisee Narellan Pools
  • My thanks for running a great session at our recent Conference. After speaking to most of the group they believe it was the highlight of their time spent at the Conference and very worthwhile for their businesses.

    Mark Pedder, Managing Director Pedders Suspension
  • The underlying message regarding the responsibility of the franchisee to themselves for their success was refreshing. All the feedback we received from our franchisees was extremely positive.

    Peter Fox, CEO Autobarn
  • For the second year in a row we have brought Greg Nathan in to 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!

    Heather Lane, VP of Training and Development FOCUS Brands

More soon…

P.S. 2019 is right around the corner (yikes!) and Greg is finalizing his 2019 US dates. If you’re interested in Greg working with your team, we should talk sooner rather than later.

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