It’s All About Teamwork


One of my favorite things to do when my children were young was to coach baseball. I did it for over 17 years and soon will start up again with my grandson. I used the coaching opportunity not only to teach the young men on my team how to play the sport better, but to also impart life lessons upon them. One of my favorite lessons to teach them is the importance of forming good habits. The other is the value of teamwork.

Teamwork is important in many facets of our lives, but particularly in business. After all, we can’t run our stores by ourselves, we need our team of clerks and managers to assist us. Likewise, teamwork and cooperation between franchisees, vendors and SEI is essential to work out some of the kinks in our system, such as those exacerbated by the pandemic—staffing and supply chain/delivery.

In order for the NCASEF to function effectively, there must be a cohesiveness in purpose and strategy among its officers and Board members. The officers alone can’t run the organization, it must be a team effort. To this point, one of the priorities of our Chairman, Sukhi Sandhu, during our first NCASEF meeting in February was to create several committees to oversee certain aspects of running the organization and to tackle specific issues. As of this writing there are 12 committees, including Accounting and Finance, Digital/IT, and Facility Maintenance. Each committee has seven Board members serving on it. I serve on four of the committees—as chairperson of the Bylaws Committee, co-chairperson of the Government Affairs/Community Relations Committee, and as member of the Logistics/Simplification and Membership Committees. When the committees were announced during our meeting, many more Board members volunteered to participate.

This type of teamwork will allow the NCASEF to operate productively and efficiently. While some committee members are working on organizing our annual convention and trade show, others will be gathering information and developing a game plan that will be shared with SEI to help fix some of the issues we face in the day-to-day operation of our stores. Other committees will be working with our vendors to resolve issues related to deliveries, supply chain, and such.

We saw this teamwork in action during our recent Board meeting. Franchisees and vendors huddled together to discuss solutions to merchandise and service concerns during the workshop breakout groups of the Affiliate Member meeting. FOA leaders reported the most urgent issues they and their members are currently experiencing, and discussed possible solutions that could be worked on with SEI. The unity displayed at the meeting was truly inspiring.

To paraphrase the famous poem, no person is an island unto themselves. At the end of the day, we are all—franchisees, SEI, and vendors—part of the 7-Eleven team, and teamwork will only serve to improve the brand for all stakeholders.