Franchising Can Learn a Lesson from Great NFL Coaches
by Ed Teixeira
Franchisors and franchisees can benefit from the leadership style and
management skills of the NFLís great coaches.
Being an avid sports fan, Iíve had the benefit of watching professional
football for a number of years. During this time Iíve been able to observe how
the best NFL head coaches have led their teams to success. Although the great
NFL head coaches both past and present may differ in style there are certain
attributes and practices these individuals share. Vince Lombardi had a different
style than Bill Walsh and current Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a far
different style than Pittsburg Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, however, these
top notch leaders are more similar than might appear on the surface.
Here are ten similarities of great NFL coaches. Note how these can fit into
1. The great coaches have strong leadership traits that inspire their players
to follow their lead. They are passionate, committed and respected.
2. They treat all of their players the same. The players know what is
expected of them. If they fail to follow team standards and requirements they
will be off the team. In franchising this converts to maintaining and upholding
franchise system standards for all franchisees. McDonalds has spent millions in
legal costs over the years in order to protect and uphold their system
3. The great NFL head coaches had great or very good quarterbacks. Franchise
leaders should surround themselves with quality staff. From headquarters to
field staff a franchisor needs quality people.
4. They evaluate, acquire and draft the right players to fit their team. They
rarely compromise their player profile. This is not very different than those
franchisors that recruit and select qualified and competent franchisees.
5. They have a sound and effective system they implement and adjust when
needed. The successful franchise systems are built upon sound operational and
marketing programs and can change with the times.
6. Are tireless workers.
7. They demand excellence in practice. New England Patriots quarterback Tom
Brady often attributes team victories to focused and successful practice
sessions which are duplicated during real game conditions. In franchising this
translates into training that is not limited to initial franchisee training but
rather takes place on an on-going basis.
8. They say the right thing or say very little. Very rarely do great coaches say
something that they will later regret. Franchise leaders speak individually and
through their subordinates. When conflicts or differences with franchisees arise
the effective franchise leader can defuse and correct problems.
9. Have a winning football program. As Bill Parcells once said: ďYour record
says who you areĒ A successful franchise program has steady growth, profitable
franchisees, and positive franchise relations with minimal or no litigation.
10. They study and understand how to defeat their opponents. An analogy can
be made between an opponent and a franchise competitor. The coaches and staff
devote countless hours viewing video of their opponents. They use the
information to find tendencies and identify weaknesses. Franchisors should
follow suit by gathering as much information as possible about their
The great NFL coaches share certain traits. These traits can be compared to
the leadership of successful franchise companies. Franchise systems that are in
need of improvement might take a cue from the practices of the great NFL
© 2012 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC
Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org