Engaging & Leading An Inherited Retail Team

Engaging & Leading An Inherited Retail Team In retail we are incredibly lucky if we have the opportunity to build a team from scratch, usually, – however – when we enter into a new business we inherit an established team. Sometimes, especially for the most ambitious and determined retail leaders, this can be a very challenging scenario.  Stepping in as the leader of an existing team must be approached with sensitivity and patience, especially when you are new to the company and team. Here are some thoughts on how to get to know, successfully engage, and lead an inherited team to amazing results: Avoid coming in with a preconceived, detailed plan: Chances are you’re being hired to fill a void and address currentRead More

8 Reasons Retail Employees Dislike Their Boss

8 Reasons Retail Employees Dislike Their Boss Research on retail leadership has, primarily, focused on best practices and what exactly makes a leader phenomenal and effective. Unfortunately, there are too many retail bosses who fall far short of being a “leader”. In fact, according to psychologists Robert Hogan and Robert Kaiser the “majority of bosses are incompetent“, primarily due to poor selection and promotion practices – the wrong people are placed in leadership position. It is impossible for incompetent leadership to attract, source, hire, or lead true talent. So they are left hiring sheep [people that can easily be managed and manipulated into compliance]. This vicious cycle permeates junior, mid-, senior-level and even executive field leadership – and it is hurting retail organizations.Read More

Signs You’re About To Lose Your Top Retail Employee

Signs You’re About To Lose Your Top Retail Employee As retail leaders we all need to be hyper-aware of our team member’s happiness and how, exactly, they are feeling about their role and their career path with us and with the organization we work for. I will admit when I championed a transition to quarterly “Stay Interview” I wasn’t sure what to expect or what exactly the changes it would bring to the business. After the first three quarters of stay interviews, it was clearly the right move to make and one of the greatest benefits I can attest to is the ability to identify top performers who are thinking about leaving, for whatever reason. It was an opportunity to address a topicRead More

Turning Retail Disappointments Into Retail Successes

Turning Retail Disappointments Into Retail Successes When you are committed to excellence in the retail industry – chances are you take a fair amount of risk and put yourself out there as a leader who take initiative, surfaces solutions, someone who is innovative, unique and in search of the most productive and energizing way to drive results. When you strive for remarkable results you will, undoubtedly, find yourself – on occasion – disappointed at your results. Everyone handles disappointment differently, but a retail leader is defined by how they choose to react to a disappointing situation. When things become uncomfortable, we tend to push them away, excuse them, or assign blame instead of dealing with them. Great leadership, in these moments, to motivateRead More

10 Signs Of Cowardly Retail Leadership

10 Signs Of Cowardly Retail Leadership Retail leaderhsip is not for the weak. Every day we need to make risky or courageous decisions and give strategic and sound direction to our team that will shape the way business objectives are met today and in the long-term. Some of the things we do on a daily – if not hourly basis – are: We are ensuring our teams are filled with the right people and they are in the right places; We are guiding and developing growth of our individuals and teams; If we have team members that are struggling – we have to be proactively working on a process of improvement with a Plan B going, in the event that we need toRead More

Taking Initiative In The Retail Workplace

Taking Initiative In The Retail Workplace A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the Superintendent of the school district my children attend. The principal for the elementary school suggested to the Superintendent that she contact me to help redesign the district’s mission statement. I am very involved my children’s school and I was flattered and excited to be able to help support the forward vision for this amazing district. This also included designing a new values-based acrostic for their district mascot, the DRAGON. I was one of 10 people involved in the meetings – the only non-faculty member. Currently, only 2% of the faculty could recite the Mission Statement of the organization so during the course of conversation the presenters would solicitRead More

Qualities That Make For A Great Retail Business Partner

Qualities That Make For A Great Retail Business Partner When we take on new roles, either through entering an established market as a Regional Leader, District Leader. or even Store Leader in the field. Or we step into lead a department at Home Office. Or we are hired into a brand new role that we are tasked to create and hire a team for…Building a business and establishing new partnerships with your team, is often a leap of faith. Lot of days in retail are a roller coaster ride for any number of reasons. Choosing the right people to ride it out with makes all the difference. Building a team and hiring business partners – people that will be intensely passionate about theirRead More

Rescuing Your Most Valuable Retail Team Members

Rescuing Your Most Valuable Retail Team Members Building and developing a great team takes tremendous dedication and effort. As retail leaders we work tirelessly to guide and mentor our team and especially our top performers. Most of the time people leave because they are unhappy with their boss, their path, or their coworkers. Most of us have our A & B players [high-productivity & high-potential] that we are truly committed to saving. Part of the challenge of creating a high-performance retail team with an extraordinary reputation is that they are prime candidates for recruitment. Great retail leaders know talent when they see it, because it is so rare, and there needs to be a very real and actionable program in place to keepRead More

Inspiring Excellence In Retail

Inspiring Excellence In Retail The task of a leader is to get their people from where they are, to where they have not been – Henry Kissinger The ability to inspire and motivate that our team members have of their retail leader. Retail Leaders who achieve great things in business are invariably those who give a lot of thought and create action around their ability to grow and learn.  Truly phenomenal retail leaders become successful by design, not by accident.  They continually reinvent, shape, and polish their competencies, knowledge, and personalities to evolve, adapt, and maintain their edge and ability to deliver excellence. They also have a passion for teaching their team members, of all levels, these things. Establish The Standard For ARead More

Strategies For Handling Lying In The Retail Workplace

Strategies For Handling Lying In The Retail Workplace Most people lie. It just is a fact. A depressing fact. We working in an industry where hidden agendas, covering up errors, assigning blame, and outright lying is an unfortunate daily activity –  throughout the the entire hierarchical structure of the retail organization. According to Pamela Meyer, CEO of Calibrate, “Two-year-olds bluff. Five-year-olds lie outright. They manipulate via flattery. Nine-year-olds, masters of the cover-up. By the time you enter college, you’re going to lie to your mom in one out of every five interactions. By the time we enter this work world and we’re breadwinners, we enter a world that is just cluttered with a deception epidemic — in short, what one author calls aRead More

Bad Days In Retail And How To Minimize Them

Bad Days In Retail And How To Minimize Them As I was writing the article “Retail Productivity & Morale Killers“, my objective was to – in that same article – provide some ideas on how to turn challenging cultures around and deliver a greater level of happiness to your team when morale starts to erode or your team hits a rough patch in their path to deliver excellence. Turned out there was too much to write about with JUST the causes for the issues so I thought I would dedicate another post to this topic and share some statistics and ideas on how to minimize this productivity killer. As a senior level retail leader I force myself, though I may want to denyRead More

Retail Productivity & Morale Killers

Retail Productivity & Morale Killers The other day I wrote about Retail Leadership Credibility Killers, these were specific unfortunate things that retail leaders do that erodes their ability to earn and/or maintain trustworthiness and credibility with their colleagues.  One of my favorite and most rewarding parts of this blog is receiving messages and emails from incredible retail leaders with comments or questions that spark an engaging dialog. One of these conversations around the credibility killers got me thinking about other behaviors we exhibit or choices that we make that not only reflect poorly on our leadership brand but that can really injure the culture of the business. Common Issues That Hurt Morale & Productivity In Retail Lack of training & development opportunities ChaoticRead More

Providing Performance Guidance In Retail

Providing Performance Guidance In Retail This is not the first post I have done on performance feedback, candor, and guidance and it probably won’t be the last because it is such a common “miss” inside retail that is hurting the industry. I grew up with a father who was an amazing business man who also happened to be a labor attorney – though inventing and business were his passions and where he found his success – that didn’t stop him from keeping up with employment/labor law and sharing what he learned with me as I was growing up, and how it translated to the business world. I have always maintained an interest in keeping up with “retail impacting” employment law stories and developmentsRead More

Retailers, Is Your Organization Choking You? [*Guest Post*]

Retailers, Is Your Organization Choking You? You’ve invested time and money on growth initiative XYZ and yet, your business is not seeing the bump in sales, efficiency or profitability that you’ve promised. Why? Why are some omnichannel commerce initiatives more successful than others? Why do some retailers grow faster than others? Or record higher profits? The answer may lie not in any particular technology choice a retailer makes, or even in the tactical execution of an initiative. In many cases, strategic initiatives are at a higher risk of failure if the organization is not designed for optimum effectiveness; i.e. too many people, too few people, people in the wrong roles, insufficiently empowered for their responsibilities, or unable to influence cross-functional processes. I’ve seenRead More

Why Is Retail So Bad At Picking Great Leaders?

Why Is Retail So Bad At Picking Great Leaders? 60 Chief Executives were surveyed and virtually all of them said that recruiting and promoting leadership with true long-term/high-level leadership potential was the key ingredient to their organization’s long-term success. However, the CEOs were then quick to admit that this task is much easier said than done. Retail is great at hiring people who have experience inside similar organizations and finding those “bodies” through an ATS  that sifts through submitted resumes to weed out those that don’t have the desired retail brands in their work history. But what does past experience with a specific brand really tell us about how that person can drive results? What their value is to the business? Can THEYRead More