Unity is Strength…And Essential To Our Success and Very Existence
BY JACK W. RUGEN Former President UFOLINY
Have you heard the story of the old farmer who was on the verge of death and confronted his three sons?
His sons used to quarrel a lot among themselves. One day, he called all his sons and gave a stick to each one of them to break, every son managed to break the stick. Then, he gave a bundle of sticks to his eldest son and asked him to break them. He couldn’t do it, and likewise, the farmer gave the bundle to his remaining sons who also failed to break them.
Then, he told his sons, just like anyone can easily break a single stick, it is easy to destroy a single individual. So, if you choose to live separately after my death, anyone would take advantage of your situation and harm you. But, if you all decide to live together quite like this bundle of sticks, then none of your enemies will be able to hurt you. After hearing this, all his sons promised to live together for the rest of their lives. So, the moral of the story is unity is strength and there is strength in numbers.
This situation applies to 7-Eleven franchisees, as well. If ALL our franchisees live in unity, then no one should be able to point the finger, take advantage of certain situations, or divide us. In fact, we should be able to live in harmony with our franchisor, and if a conflict arises to try to resolve it peacefully and amicably. Discussions have proven to be helpful because you tend to find a solution to avoid such problems and our franchise lives become peaceful for everyone.
However, given our current relationship with 7-Eleven, Inc. and the unfairness with which they treat us, this is probably not possible, which leads to resolving these matters via mediation, arbitration, or finally, litigation.
There is an old saying: “If you want to travel fast, go alone. But, if you want to travel far, go together.” What resonates when I hear this is that to enjoy sustained success in business or life in general, we need to understand the power of teamwork and the value of solidarity. The importance of building team spirit is particularly evident in the education of 7-Eleven franchisees.
Effective franchisee leaders can cultivate teamwork in some simple ways. First, they must lead by example and be good role models for their team members. Trust is built over time, by consistently doing what you say you’re going to do and treating your members fairly.
What defines a “team player” is the willingness to accept a degree of personal loss for the team to make a gain. Leaders recognize team players in every walk of life. They are the people that drive success within any organization, and without them and their efforts, there can be no winning legacies.
Your NCASEF team is just that—working every day to right the wrongs bestowed upon franchisees by our franchisor, as well as federal, state and local legislatures and the media. The National Coalition’s leaders have cultivated teamwork, fought many battles, and in many ways improved the lives of franchisees in the country substantially.
The NCASEF, as an organization, provides a return on membership investment by continuously delivering vital knowledge and a unified voice on issues with our franchisor. They assess business solutions with our franchisor and share ideas and address common challenges while building relationships.
The board members of NCASEF urge you to leave all local politics aside because the more extensive the numbers, the more strength we have in sharing information about similar and
shared experiences. And, it sends a message to corporate that we are serious about our relationship. The aggregate number of years of experience among board members and other franchisees is astonishing. The educational level is extraordinary, even for the most-seasoned of franchise owners.
We at UFOLINY warmly thank all NCASEF members for their support over the years, and urge those of you who are not members to join your nearest local Franchise Owners Association to reap the value and comfort of other franchisees and franchise leaders.
As a board member of UFOLINY and the NCASEF for over 28 years in various capacities, I have come to realize the value of the National Coalition. As I am shortly to leave the system, I feel obligated to the NCASEF and all franchisee leaders for the work they have done on our behalf.
If you are not a member of an FOA, please join, and grow with us. Create a case to Accounting, giving store number, franchisee name, the address of the store or stores, telephone number and amount of dues stating that you wish to join a particular FOA nearest to your store/stores. A case number will be given to you, and the accounting analyst will close the case after completing the request.