Leadership: From Quarterback to Coach

Jim Sullivan of Sullivision discusses how to be a leader of one store or many.

August 19, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Are you leading? Whether you have two stores or two thousand locations, knowing how to lead your team is essential for growing your business. On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “From One to Many: Scaling Leadership,” Jim Sullivan, CEO of Sullivision, shares ideas on leading multiple teams.

One question Sullivan tackles is the difference between being a multiunit operator and a multiunit leader. “It’s more than just a matter of semantics,” he said. “Surely, everyone would prefer to be a leader rather than an operator. Managers get things done, but leaders inspire everybody to get the same things done, only better. … To me, a leader differs from an operations person or a manager in that they inspire and motivate many more people toward a common goal.”

When working within a family business, what does leadership look like? “If you own a brand and you employ area directors or multiunit operators to oversee a region, district or area, you can mandate what they can do and what they can’t do, and hold them more accountable for results,” Sullivan said.

“If you have family members in your business, it gets a little trickier. … If you filter it through what we’re doing and what our expectations are and how it’s related to the customer experience, how it benefits the customer—that’s probably one of the smartest ways for any leadership training development and expectation,” he said. “Even with family members, setting expectations is a core element of leadership.”

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and on YouTube, as well as at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than 130,000 times by listeners around the world.