The Franchise Player


I was watching a major sporting event recently and the commentator kept referring to one of the athletes as a “franchise player.”

Wanting to know exactly what this description meant, I did what we all do nowadays—I looked it up on Wikipedia.

The Great Wiki said a “franchise player” is an athlete who is not simply the

best player on the team, but a player that the team can build its “franchise” (team or business) around for the foreseeable future.

The game I was watching was on the line, the outcome dependent on the performance of this franchise player. If he came through, his team would go into the playoffs, resulting

in many more games, with additional coliseums filled with excited fans buying tickets, food and merchandise.

I started to think about the owner of the team. His or her entire annual return, maybe the entire future value of the enterprise, was riding on the shoulders of this one player. One player determined the difference of hundreds of millions of dollars. I thought, if I were the owner of the team, I would hire and pay a few people six-figure salaries just to manage the well-being of this one player. It would be worth it.

Last year I read Tom Rath’s book Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements. Tom explains that true well-being encompasses your professional life (liking what you do every day), social life (having positive relationships and love), finances, physical fitness and health, and community involvement.

Thinking about this franchise player, I started masterminding the different ways the team owner could keep the player’s job fun, challenging and enjoyable (ya, SUCCESS always on the brain!). Then ways to ensure he was hanging out only with people who were supportive, loving and positively reinforcing. Certainly I would hire the best and most trusted financial advisers. Every aspect of his physical health, nutrition, training and rehabilitation would be managed and monitored by a team of world-class trainers. Then to complete the well-being management, I would be sure he was actively involved with charitable endeavors to make sure he gained a sense of his higher purpose and felt the fulfillment of contribution.

Then I thought, Hey, I’m the owner of my team, I should take care of my franchise players like this as well. My financial future is in their hands. If I take great care of them they will take me all… the… way… to my goals and dreams.

Then I thought one step further: Hey, I AM the franchise player for my team—

family, business, life—as well. I should take care of my well-being with this much care, consideration and investment. It’s the shrewd and prudent thing to do.

That’s what I want to encourage you to do as well. You are the franchise player for your family, business and life. Invest the time, money and thoughtfulness to be sure your well-being is well-managed. The future of your team—family, business, life—depends on your performance.

That is what our current issue of SUCCESS (on newsstands now!) is focused on helping you achieve—greater well-being in all five essential areas of your life.

The game is on the line (every day): Is your well-being in peak-performance condition?
I hope so. (watch my free nutrition and fitness videos here)

What do you do to take care of your franchise players–your key team members and yourself? Share your ideas in the comments below.



20 responses to “The Franchise Player”

  1. Lol, I read this article and though of Allen Iverson. :-) Here was a self-described “franchise player” who let that image go to his head. Remember the whole “I don’t need to go to practice” debacle? Well, maybe if he had gone to practice rather than whining “this isn’t the playoffs, not even the game, this is practice” — he might have gotten that ring every player, franchise and not, so desires, because just because you think you’re great doesn’t mean you can’t always get better.

    Michael Jordan didn’t shirk practice. Tiger Woods, for all his personal peccadillos, still gets up and practices golf every day. Michael Phelps doesn’t just say hey, I won all those medals, I’m gold, so long and thanks for all the fish. They practice, to keep themselves in the game and to get better than they already are. More than that, they don’t think of themselves as solo acts but as carriers of a TEAM. Even Phelps who is basically what would be considered a solo athlete, his TEAM is the United States of America. His TEAM is his mom and his friends and everyone who is rooting for him. Tiger Woods’ TEAM is all the people who’ve supported him to become the world’s #1 player of golf, and the people who depend on his mastery — this includes his sponsors, who don’t want to be associated with ego or slacking.

    Iverson let ego get in the way of being a Franchise Player. Why? Because even Franchise Players need to show up for Practice. Otherwise you don’t make it to Dale Carnegie Hall. 😉

  2. This morning, I listened to Sullivan’s interview. Radical and profound. That is why I love SUCCESS!!!

  3. Hi Darren,

    Taking the time to view myself as a franchise player is certainly an empowering exercise in self-awareness. It’s also pretty exciting.

    Taking your advice from earlier on, next month, we are attending two sought-after conferences to equip us with the insights, tools, strategies and triggers, for the next phase of business growth.

    Our two franchise MVPs are us.

  4. Darren,

    What a fantastic post! I had know idea where you were going, but I’m so glad I clicked the link in my Seeds of Success email to read the last paragraph. Awesome!

    Bryan Salek

  5. Darren, thank you for your thoughts. I spend a lot of time making sure my franchise players are taken care of at work but I never thought of myself as a franchise player. That’s an interesting point you make. I’ll have to check out the current issue of SUCCESS magazine.

    Have a great weekend.

  6. Great Darren. You ceaselessly inspire me with you great works! Seriously, I just need to meet with you (despite the thousands on miles separating us) so that I can tap into you wealth of wisdom. God bless you Darren!

  7. Hey Mr Hardy!! Just wanted to publicly state what an honor it was to meet you and watch your fantastic presentation in The Big Apple this week!! For those of you who are wondering, DH really is as nice as he seems, is very wise, and carries himself with a presence that screams WINNER!! We are truly lucky to have him in our corner!! Thanks again my rock star friend!!

    Have a magical weekend DH!! You earned it!!

  8. It’s a good post Darren….but what if the FP gets injured or can’t play?

    Living life as an FP means a lot of pressure to live that life day in day out. The ball game FP gets paid if he messes up, if we mess up we usually don’t. I say build, encourage, support and empower our teams to follow our FP example so the business can work on its own.

  9. Some time ago I said to my wife “I will look after me for you, if you will take the time and trouble to look after you for me” and I freely admit I stole this great idea! Recently I stepped this up set some goals and monitored my progress. Since January 1, at age 63, I have lost 38 pounds and noe run 5 kilometers five mornings out of seven. Now, I’m ready to be a franchise player. Great, stimulating post Darren!

  10. Darren – I love this image. “I am the franchise player.” I’m not a big sports fan but can certainly understand and appreciate this concept. Now I want to pass on that metaphor to each of my three kids to see themselves in that way with their families. The NFL has nothin on us!

  11. What do you do to take care of your franchise players–your key team members and yourself?

    First, we care by encouraging world class health for both our team and myself. We pay for biometrics and offer it free on site each year for our team members with a coaching program to improve / maintain their health. It’s great to see how the biometrics inspires exercise, diet and accountability. The fact is that people perform better when they feel better and they’re better for their family.

    Second, we are very selective with who we allow on our team and educate / encourage learning with self / team improvement. Our team is hungry for excellence and willing to work hard.

    Third, we recognize our team for their accomplishments and compensate them very well. Goal and strategy this year is 90% retention of our team in the construction while the industry as a whole is only a mere 75% retention. We’re now in business 29 years, employ over 200 team members and our first employee is still with our company and getting better every day.

    Great post Darren!


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