Bud Hadfield

On Monday April 11th Bud Hadfield, a franchising legend died at the age of 87. A friend, a mentor and a leader.

I bet you didn’t know that in 1993, the Texas Senate declared Bud Hadfield Day due to his contributions to Texas citizens and involvement with civic groups and schools.

Maybe you didn’t know that in 2003 Bud was inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame along with Bill Gates, Fred DeLuca and Mary Kay Ash.

You might not have been aware that Bud often met politicians and celebrities. As you walk toward his office, the hallways are filled with framed photographs of Bud with Ronald Regan, George W. Bush, Muhammad Ali, Chuck Norris, and Alan Sheppard to name a few. On my first visit with Bud I remember feeling very intimidated by the photographs. That anxiety didn’t last long. As soon as I sat down in front of Bud he immediately put me at ease with his uncanny ability to make me feel very important. In fact, Bud made everyone feel important.

Cyndee Perkins posted “The Road Not Taken Would Not Have Taken Us Here.” At the end she asks “What if Bud had not wanted to invest in the future? Invest in children? Invest in technology? We in COMPUTER EXPLORERS are grateful that the man who didn’t want to use a computer supported and nurtured us, and took us where we are today!”

Bud gave me an opportunity to grow as an individual and a leader, but he made me work for it. We didn’t always get along but those are the times I learned the most. He challenged me and enjoyed sparring–sometimes with the intention from the very beginning to approve my request! If we couldn’t come to an agreement, we would decide to continue the conversation another day and moved on to discussing our families.

A friend, David Handler, collected words of wisdom from Bud. His list is called “Franchising and other lessons from Bud.” There are a total of 106! Many I will always remember and some I have intentionally forgotten.

Here are my favorite top 15:

  1. When you have good people, don’t stand in front of them. Stand behind them.
  2. If you let it go, it will run away from you.
  3. Nothing is routine. We have an ongoing responsibility.
  4. Focus on the future. Plan ahead, not back.
  5. Do for them what they won’t do or can’t do for themselves.
  6. We’ve got to do the impossible now and then.
  7. It’s not the end result that matters. It’s what you did to help them get there.
  8. Never go into business that’s easy to go into.
  9. The most important call we get is from an owner with a problem. The second most important is a potential owner.
  10. When the mouse plays with the elephant, the mouse gets bigger.
  11. Sometimes we have to realize competitors are people too.
  12. Be an asset to their lives, not another problem.
  13. Don’t get your exercise from jumping to conclusions.
  14. Never create an expectation that can’t be met.
  15. There are some people in life you don’t want to like you.

Bud was someone everyone liked and whom you wanted to like you!

He will be missed but his lessons will live on.