Jersey Mike’s Chief Marketing Officer, Rich Hope, explains how he lets a positive attitude fuel his leadership style.
Being a leader—what does it take to be a great one? For a company to succeed, a lot has to do with who is at the top of the totem pole. If there is no real leadership or someone who isn’t exuding leadership qualities, that company could end up in turmoil.
According to a recent Fast Company article, the top five qualities of a great leader include flexibility, the ability to communicate, humility and presence, being responsible, and a group of characteristics including courage, tenacity, and patience. One company’s leadership is showcasing all of those qualities--Jersey Mike’s. More specifically, Chief Marketing Officer Rich Hope, who displays a variety of those leadership qualities on a daily basis.
Rich Hope has been the CMO of Jersey Mikes for the past seven years, and has maintained the same quality of leadership throughout his tenure.
“I have always had the same approach to leadership, and that’s to empower people to do their job. I’ve never micro-managed and have always given them the space and resources to do the job,” Hope said. He also always tries to lead by example and work harder than his employees every single day.
He has also noticed that a positive attitude goes a long way.
“Looking at things negatively never works. Yes, it’s much easier to be negative, but try and approach everything with a positive attitude. Positivity goes a long way in this world, and it’s an important aspect of leadership,” said Hope.
When it comes to his proudest moment at Jersey Mike’s, it’s one that has come every year for the past seven years during Jersey Mike’s Month of Giving in March. Hope organized this event, and during this month, Jersey Mike’s partners with around 150 local charities and asks for customers to donate to the specific location’s charity partner. On the final Wednesday of the month, their “Day of Giving,” 100 percent of the sales will be given to to a local cause. Last year they raised over $4.1 million, and this year, they hope for over $5 million. Hope stated they started at $700,000 seven years ago, and it makes him proud that that number keeps growing—a clear indicator that they’re helping more and more people.
Aside from the “Month of Giving,” his other favorite thing about working at Jersey Mike’s is the people.
“I work with an extraordinary group of people with passion for the brand. You can feel this energy and positivity in the air and everyone that I work with are great people to be around.”
As far as advice to a new or experienced leader goes, it’s the same for both.
“Empower the people you work with. That has been a long-standing mentality in my career and it allows them to do their job. I don’t want to do their job--I want them to want to do it. And I can’t say this enough—it’s vital to always stay positive.”