Obstacles To Great Retail Leadership

Obstacles To Great Retail Leadership I don’t know that there is another industry that allows for reinvention or professional evolution as much as our industry does. And that is a great thing. It affords us a great opportunity to frequently assess where we stand and react if there are any leadership obstacles we are running into as we lead our teams. Here are some of the most common challenges we face to being an effective leader to our teams and inside our organization – food for thought if you are taking on a new role or if you are struggling a bit with your team and aren’t seeing movement/improvement as quickly as you hope to: Ignoring the usefulness of mistakes: Mistakes are necessaryRead More

Best Ways to Lead a Happy & Productive Retail Team

Best Ways to Lead A Happy & Productive Retail Team There is a significant misconception about what retail leadership is. Many view it as an elevation in rank and title that puts you “in charge” of everybody else, making you the authoritative figure on everything your team does. There needs to be a huge shift in this old mindset. To grow a team that produces good work and delivers results, a leader needs to see themselves not as “the boss”, but a business partner and a talent-nurturer.  With the leadership title you become responsible for the success and growth of your team members, and that is a huge opportunity. Leaders are supposed to help unleash and nurture the talents within their team, andRead More

Top Reasons Retailers Lose Their Best Talent

Top Reasons Retailers Lose Their Best Talent Large and small retail companies share the common challenge of keeping their best and brightest talent in the organization. Companies lose amazing talent every single day and believe that they are exiting the business because of a better opportunity, more money, because they want a change. They are usually leaving not because they really want to – but because they feel compelled to. Here are some of the most common reasons that retailers lose their top talent: No Discussion Around Career Development/Path. You know the pedestrian question we used to ask in interviews “Where do you think you’ll be in 5 years?” Most people don’t know the answer to that. However, everyone wants to and deserves toRead More

Terrible Reasons For Hanging On To A Poor Performer In Retail

Terrible Reasons For Hanging On To A Poor Performer In Retail I have shared this in a previous article I have written, but back many years ago I stepped into a role with a very challenging business. The team was severely under-developed. The region’s business metrics were ranked in the bottom 2% [yep…the bottom 2%] across all business levers. It was not pretty. I was traveling with my boss one day, immediately after taking on the role, and we were talking about the business and my plan of action and I was asking him questions about my predecessor trying to understand the team and what, potentially, I would have to counter to what they learned/experienced. One of the questions I asked was howRead More

Getting The Best From Your Retail Team

Getting The Best From Your Retail Team If there is one thing every retail leader can depend on, it’s that there is no shortage of change in the retail marketplace. The reality is that every retail organization has to contend with aggressive competition looking to improve or disrupt the retail environment. Lots are successful. Others simply create confusion that wastes time and resources.  Whether you lead a field team or corporate team, sooner or later you will be faced with the need to change things up, evolve the business, or elevate results. You could just simply tell your team to get creative with solutions/ideas but, without clarity, that may result in useless ideas and frustrated employees. Not establishing a culture that supports thisRead More

Why Do We Accept Results [From Ourselves] That Are “Okay” Instead Of Great?

Why Do We Accept Results [From Ourselves] That Are “Okay” Instead Of Great? Today’s world is moving at a pace that is sometimes challenging to keep up with. At work and at home, everything has to be done yesterday and in response we rush to produce reactionary work that results in output that is mediocre but, possibly, passable. The idea is that we don’t have the time, or more correctly, make the time, to stop and plan a little or even just think things through before jumping into a reactive response. This is an on-going challenge in the retail industry. The results is that we grow accustomed to accept that something is just or almost good enough – for now – and convinceRead More

The Benefits Of A ‘No Jerks’ Policy In Retail

The Benefits Of A ‘No Jerks’ Policy In Retail Recently, on this blog I wrote a couple of articles that seem to have resonated with my amazing retail network: 15 Traits Of A “Terrible” Retail Leader Stop Tolerating Bad Retail Employees [That Means Leaders, Too!] Lots of shares [thank you for sharing!], lots of “Likes” [which I am extremely grateful for – thank you!], and lots of very interesting comments and perspectives from readers on various group postings [I love reading comments and am always so appreciative when people take the time to share their thoughts.]. Clearly these topics are important to retail so I thought I would go in search of how various companies/people take a stand on how to eliminate theRead More

Playing It Safe In Retail Is Boring [And A Bad Idea]

Playing It Safe In Retail Is Boring [And A Bad Idea] Retail organizations today have difficulty carving out a unique, unforgettable, inspired, and remarkable experiences for what they do in people’s minds. Most of them focus on the lowest common denominator and go after cheap textiles or other product to sell at compelling prices. They anonymize themselves to the point where the name of the store is incidental and their service is incidental. As a customer, you feel like you got a garment from “someplace” at a steal and that’s “good enough”. Retail organizations value propositions today are easily interchangable with their competition and few would notice any difference. They all market more to the masses and give little attention to the specialRead More

Recognition in Retail

Recognition in Retail 89% of senior managers said their organization is good at showing appreciation to workers. 30% of employees gave their firms low marks when it comes to shining a light on their achievements. Unfortunately, this type of disparity in what Executive/Senior Leadership perceives to what the employees experience is nothing new. These two entities inside a retail organization work within their own bubbles and often times initiatives and programs that are believed to be functioning, go by the wayside for any number of reasons, such as: They aren’t made to be important The team leaders don’t feel recognized/appreciated so why should they recognize their team [this actually happens] They aren’t consistent It becomes a program of compliance and therefore becomes disingenuousRead More

Success Starts With The Retail Leader

Success Starts With The Retail Leader As a leader, you do have a choice as to how you prioritize your time and the components of the business that you have an impact on; there are unlimited possibilities when it comes to which decisions to make yourself and those that you delegate to others. How do you determine the where to focus your efforts? How to use your knowledge and experience? What has the greatest impact and what will deliver the great value to the business? It’s not about what you enjoy doing or where your strengths are; it’s about where OTHERS will realize the maximum benefit if you focus your decision-making time there. –  Roy Osing By focusing on the high-impact, high-value decisionsRead More

Involvement In The Retail Workplace

Involvement In The Retail Workplace TinyPulse asked the question – “On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your ability to make an impact here vs. at a prior employer?” The industries with the happiest employees gave a score of 8.15. The industries with the unhappiest employees gave an average score of 6.95. Then they asked, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much opportunity do you have for professional growth in this organization?” The happiest industry employees gave this question an average score of 7.12 for their current company. The unhappiest industries assigned this question an average score of 6.15. Finally, “On a scale of 1 to 10, do you feel like you’ll have the opportunity to reach your fullRead More

Adam LaRoche, The Chicago White Sox, And The Retail Leadership Parallel

Adam LaRoche, The Chicago White Sox, and Retail Leadership Parallels I am not very knowledgeable about sports but I do follow baseball because it’s my sons’ favorite.   This morning I was reading an article on Adam LaRoche exiting a $13million contract because White Sox Executive Vice President Kenny Williams told him, after five years of allowing this, that his 14 year old son, Drake, was not allowed in the clubhouse, on the field, at the drills as much as has been permitted in the past. “I just told him that he needed to dial it back, that’s all,” Williams said. “Look, I don’t want this to turn into something that makes Drake feel badly. He is such a good kid and so lovedRead More

Hiring “Great” Talent vs. Hiring “Good Enough” Talent In Retail

Hiring “Great” Talent vs. Hiring “Good Enough” Talent In Retail I frequently hear from my colleagues how frustrated they are with their team’s turnover and how difficult it is to hire talent that is the right fit for the role, the culture, and the customer. No doubt, it is a very challenging reality that we deal with – but so much of what we experience is self-inflicted because we are working with antiquated and outdated tools/processes, job descriptions, useless applicant tracking systems, irrelevant training materials, and “we’ve-always-done-it-this-way” beliefs. We are creating impediments in our business as we insist on committing sabotage by email, sabotage by meetings, and sabotage by not investing the time and budgets needed time to update our recruiting/hiring practices, onboarding,Read More

Be Happy! To Be Successful And Productive In Retail

Be Happy! To Be Successful And Productive In Retail Shawn Anchor, author of “The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work“, gave an incredible Ted Talk in 2011, “The Happy Secret To Better Work”: Shawn Anchor is a great presenter and delivers a truly compelling reason why we need to focus on our happiness and happy things in order to be successful and productive in the workplace. This psychology philosophy is directly counter with what we typically believe and what we are fed, daily, in life. If you don’t have time to watch the presentation – here are some of my favorite parts: If I asked a question like, “How fast can a child learnRead More

The Social Exchange Theory In Retail

The Social Exchange Theory In Retail Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with some awesome “emerging adults” about the retail industry – how it is evolving and the incredible opportunities that exist within it. It was a great time and the group was extremely smart and engaged in the topic as 52% of them were currently working in an entry level position in retail. My 60 minute presentation ended up being an almost 120 minute presentation with the Q&A portion. There were so many great questions and lively dialogs, I left them with my contact information. Over the last several days I received some great texts and IM’s from the attendees…most of them about the social exchange theory that I brieflyRead More