Fight for Your Franchise Challenge, Week 6: How to Hire and Manage for Explosive Growth Delving into servant leadership and the Upside Down Pyramid strategy.

By Rick Grossmann

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Franchise Bible Coach

Week six of the Fight for Your Franchise Challenge continues our implementation of our Franchise Bible Coach leadership strategies to impact your business in a positive way quickly. You will see, read and hear tips and strategies for finding the best people and developing their skills to maximize your team efficiencies and profitability to help you grow your company.

It is common to see franchise organizations that emulate the traditional top-down corporate structure. Below, the diagram on the left illustrates this model, while the diagram on the right shows you the servant leader Upside Down Pyramid model that we teach.

The essence of the Upside Down Pyramid is a true servant leadership model that inverts that top-down management structure. The traditional model works great in institutions like the military, where everyone knows their roles and are subordinate to their superiors.

Related: Fight for Your Franchise Challenge: Week 5

The Upside Down Pyramid Servant Leadership mode, on the other other hand, works great for franchising, since we are working with a network of entrepreneurs that have various business strengths and weaknesses, one in which the overall organization succeeds at a much higher level when all of the members are doing well. In other words: When the employees win, the franchise owners win. When the franchisees win, the franchisor wins. And ultimately, the customers win, which helps the brand grow and gain market share for all.

Many of my coaching clients have asked me how to find and keep good employees. The short answer is there is no shortcut. You have to develop a comprehensive employee-development program and then implement your plan at the zenith level (highest and most powerful) to achieve long-term growth and scale.

This plan starts with the basics, such as job descriptions, management flowchart and chain of command, and follows through all of the steps to recruit the best candidates, train and support them and then put them on the path to increase their skills through advanced, ongoing training. You may include leadership and management paths as they grow with your organization. Start by committing to the servant leadership model and use the Upside Down Pyramid to set up the best structure for your team.

Try this exercise for your business:

  1. Identify your leadership style and write it on the whiteboard.
  2. Draw the Upside Down Pyramid and identify where you and your team members belong.
  3. Play out several scenarios or decisions while putting your team members first to see what the probable outcomes would be.

Note how different the outcomes are when you put others well being before your own. You start to make decisions based on the overall health of the company and all of its members instead of only focusing on the outcomes that benefit you. You may already be a natural servant leader, and this exercise may only be a good reminder. Or you may not be a natural servant leader who is working through this for the first time. If so, the good news is you have it in you to be a great servant leader, so long as you are advocating for the others in your organization.

And remember: Don't leave the "leader" part off and get walked all over. I recently had to remind one of my franchisor coaching clients that being a servant leader doesn't mean you are a servant only. You still need to be a strong leader who people will follow and respect. You just do it with a heart for the team and always with their best interest in mind. Sometimes, we as leaders have to make hard decisions that may sting at the time but are better for everyone in the long run. Servant leaders are strong and decisive, so don't let people take your caring heart as weakness.

This week on our Franchise Bible Coach Radio Podcast with Rick and Rob, our guest was Nick Zamucen, the founder of Denver-based Bio-One Franchising and its sister company, Best Option Restoration. Nick shared his insights and stories of servant leadership and told us how he built his amazing franchise to more than 100 units by being selective and only choosing the candidates that can comit to the brand promise of helping first and business second, per their slogan.

You can listen to the entire podcast and access all of of the resources by joining the Fight for Your Franchise Challenge at You will receive an email every Monday with all of the resource links. You can also reference the content on the website one week later for review by clicking on the "FBC Podcast" drop-down on the "Weekly Content" tab.

And we have joined forces with Entrepreneur to bring you even more resources to help you survive and thrive this pandemic. The Fight for Your Franchise coaching videos are now hosted on, and you can subscribe for free. This gives you access to our content as well as other great resources offered by Entrepreneur. Click here to set up your free account.

Related: Fight for Your Franchise Challenge: Week 4

The Upside Down Pyramid is one of many Franchise Bible Coach strategies that are available for free as a part of our Fight for Your Franchise Challenge. You can join the fight on the website and gain immediate access to the weekly resources, including the video coaching sessions, articles, podcasts and our Facebook community. I have witnessed amazing stories of innovation and can report that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the franchise industry. You have made it this far, so keep fighting the good fight!

Rick Grossmann

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Franchise Bible Author, Speaker and Coach

Rick has been involved in the franchise industry since 1994. He franchised his first company and grew it to 49 locations in 19 states during the mid to late 1990s. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and primary trainer focusing on franchise owner relations and creating tools and technologies to increase franchisee success.

Rick developed and launched his second franchise organization in 2003. He led this company as the CEO and CMO growing to over 150 locations in less than three years. He developed the high tech/high touch franchise recruiting and sales system.

Both companies achieved ranking on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 List. During this period Rick served as a business and marketing consultant to small business and multimillion dollar enterprises. He also consulted with franchise owners and prospective franchisees, franchisors, and companies seeking to franchise around the world.

Rick is the Author of Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise Bible series and his 9th Edition was released worldwide in April of 2021.  He also is a contributing author to Entrepreneur Magazine and other industry publications on the subject of franchising and business.

He currently heads up the Entrepreneur Franchise Advisors program, serves as an executive coach and strategist for multiple franchise clients and is the co-host of the Franchise Bible Coach Radio Podcast with Rick and Rob.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

Bank Accidentally Deposits $86 Million Into Woman's Account, Freezes Her Assets

The incident occurred at the Malaysian bank, Maybank.

Business News

Google Accidentally Sent This Man a $250,000 Payment

Security engineer Sam Curry was in for quite the treat when he checked his bank account around a few weeks ago.


Why Every Entrepreneur Should Consider Starting a Podcast

This article sheds light on the power of podcasts, particularly for entrepreneurs, outlining steps to launch a successful podcast.

Science & Technology

Balancing AI Innovation with Ethical Oversight

It is clear that regulatory practices are a must — there is no exception.

Business News

She Lost Her Job as a Disinformation Scholar at Harvard — and Claims Facebook May Have Had Something to Do With It

Dr. Joan Donovan alleges Harvard stopped her research after receiving donations from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Harvard denies the claim.