Laura Novak is the President and CEO of Little Nest Portraits--a family portrait franchise that celebrates the joy, laughter, and love that your family is experiencing right now, at this moment, and continues to celebrate as life changes over time.

My leadership style is best described as collaborative, and I am easy on people but tough on performance. My organizations include exciting collaborators and bring creative people and ideas together. I work to create an employee experience which enhances lives, and only engage in open, clear and direct communication which focuses on the professional, not the personal.

I also listen carefully to suggestions when challenges arise, and use humor, wisdom and warmth when seeking to overcome them. Throughout my company's history--five years--I have had no voluntary turnover of my staff of 22 employees. We have around 100 applicants for every open position.

In our company, collaborative teams are created to address challenges including, how to change merchandising displays or studio backgrounds, or how we can enhance the customer experience. Last spring, our client experience team sent out a seed planting kit to all of our top customers as a gift of appreciation--a fun, and unexpected gesture to those who give us the opportunity to do what we love for a living.

As we grow through franchising, we will be approaching our expansion "in sync" with the same collaborative style that those who are part of our home studios have grown to know and love. We are currently building a collaborative system based on the franchise company and the brand "partners" (franchisees), working together to improve customer, employee, and owner experiences, while pushing the brand toward new opportunities and increased profitability.

This system is based on mutual respect and an understanding that everyone who has been vetted and granted a franchise has something unique and valuable to contribute to the organization. As strong candidates enter the franchise system, the system gets stronger to everyone's benefit.

Published on: Oct 31, 2014