Developing Your Inner Retail Leader

Developing Your Inner Retail Leader I have this theory that most people get into Retail Leadership by accident. Especially, when I discuss entry into our industry among my circle of retail friends – we all came into this industry by chance or coincidence and found that we had an affinity for lots of aspects of the job and overall retail culture. I see amazing talent in retail very often that can absolutely be developed and encouraged to develop their leadership abilities for a long and successful career inside our industry. Creating a vivid, robust, and colorful culture can help our emerging leaders and our current leaders identify a potential long-term and successful career path which will support the health and growth of retail.Read More

7 Regrettable [But Avoidable] Mistakes Retail Leaders Make

7 Regrettable [But Avoidable] Mistakes Retail Leaders Make Regardless of what level of leadership you currently are in inside the retail industry there are challenges that exist that can bring you and your team’s momentum to a screeching halt. A valuable leadership competency in retail is to possess and exhibit a high-level of self-awareness – which, in essence, means that we have to frequently step back and assess our style to determine if we are leading our teams and our own performance in the right direction and if we are optimizing our team talents in the process. If we are not, we need to reinvent our approach and upskill our style. Not Providing Feedback: Regardless of where “Delivering Fair & Balanced Feedback andRead More

How Retail Leaders Connect With Their Team

How Retail Leaders Connect With Their Team One of the challenges senior field leaders face in their day-to-day role is how to connect with all of their team members to build an effective, cohesive, productive, and aligned team that is collectively committed to delivering excellence in the business. Unless we are District Leaders or Regional Leaders in a highly-saturated market – we have remote stores and teams that we need to energize and engage without, necessarily, seeing them more than two or three times per quarter. It is fairly easy to inspire and connect with teams that you see/visit frequently but it is so important to build time into your visit to inspire and get to know your teams you may not seeRead More

Great Retail Leaders Are Emotionally Resilient

Great Retail Leaders Are Emotionally Resilient Emotional resilience: it’s the armor you need for modern life. Those of us who have been in retail for a while recognize the value of being resilient. As we see our industry take new shape and evolve daily, emotional resiliency has become a soft skill that is necessary to react to and overcome the obstacles we encounter daily at work. “At the heart of resilience is a belief in oneself—yet also a belief in something larger than oneself. Resilient people do not let adversity define them. They find resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves, transcending pain and grief by perceiving bad times as a temporary state of affairs… It’s possible to strengthen your inner self and yourRead More

Retail Leadership: Challenging Boss Relationships

Retail Leadership: Challenging Boss Relationships I have had quite a few emails over the past few days regarding my post “8 Reasons Retail Employees Dislike Their Boss“, so many readers had LOTS to add to the list I outlined and I am looking forward to writing about those in a new post based on the feedback I received. However,  I received a handful of messages around the topic of how to handle it when your boss clearly dislikes you so I thought I would tackle that topic since it is unique and something that I haven’t spent too much time writing about. Retail Leaders Role In the Employee Relationship I am a firm believer that as Retail Leaders we should always lead withRead More

Adding Value To Your Retail Organization

Adding Value To Your Retail Organization Something that has become of a bit of a buzz-phrase in retail is “adding value”. However, this is actually kind of a big deal and something that great retail team members understand. From a leadership perspective: When we invite – by recruiting and sourcing talent – people onto our teams we are inviting them for a few reasons [or at least we should be]: They would complement our company culture; They would complement our team dynamic; They display some/most of the critical success factors that define our top performers; They would be a benefit and future leader in the organization; They are seemingly aligned with the organization’s vision and values; They are passionate about their career pathRead More

Hiring Talent Vs. Bodies In Retail

Hiring Talent Vs. Bodies In Retail According to Gallup, 82% of hiring processes don’t pick the right talent! This is a very real, and unfortunate statistic. Despite all of the information available to us that we need to identify and source talent using a completely different [and infinitely more critical and relevant] set of criteria. Hire character, train skill – this is not a new initiative but one that has yet to be embraced by the retail industry at large. If you Google search retail interview questions – here is a sampling of what you’ll find: Where else have you applied? What motivates you to do a good job? What qualities do you consider most important in this retail job? How do youRead More

You May Be A Bad Retail Leader If…

You May Be A Bad Retail Leader If… It is an unfortunate reality that we have significantly more ineffective and banal “managers” in retail. So many use outdated practices based on old-school leadership theories and principles. We know that most “managers” are simply “good enough” or mediocre, at best. But that is not going to keep our industry healthy or allow us the ability to grow our brands and brand reputation to our customers or potential talent. Interestingly, as the Wall Street Journal states, “Gallup has found that only three out of ten bosses have the natural or coachable talent to become great at managing people. The company says that such people motivate their employees, assert themselves to overcome obstacles, create a cultureRead More

Let’s Talk About Great Retail Leaders

Let’s Talk About Great Retail Leaders The European-based Centre for Organizational Research conducted several surveys on teams that ‘click’ and found that they always have a leader who creates the environment and establishes the operating principles and values that are conducive to high performance. The evidence for this is clearly seen in organizations where a leader who creates a high performance team moves to another part of the organization, or a different organization, and within 18 months they once again establish a high-performing team. That is a pretty powerful thought – especially to challenge organizations to devise a strategy around recognizing, valuing and retaining their high-contributing leaders. It’s also a great warning to those that may think moving an ineffective leader into anotherRead More

Silly Mistakes That Retail Leaders Make

Silly Mistakes That Retail Leaders Make As retail leaders we, at times, walk a fine line with our teams. We have to be accessible and connected with our teams but we have to do so and maintain a level of professionalism and credibility as guides, mentors, and supports to everyone we represent and lead – as well as our colleagues and bosses. We have to consistently model the behaviors of what right looks like and silently instill career capital through our actions, decisions, and passion for our business. Sometimes this is easier than it sounds. We are human beings and – most of us – are human beings with flaws. We make mistakes and while most mistakes or missteps aren’t credibility killers –Read More

Assumptions Are – Generally – Bad For Retail Business

Assumptions Are – Generally – Bad For Retail Business When I enter into a new role inside a new company – one of the things I quickly assess is how many assumptions are being made in the business. Are people interpreting the same direction is extreme ways or strangely different ways? Do I hear a lot of team members during dialogs – cut the speaker off saying “I know” or finish the speakers thought as if they are certain of the conclusion but they’re off target? As retail leaders we all know that being able to communicate with clarity and bring structure to direction that is confused or slightly chaotic is a necessary competency. So it is critically valuable – when you hearRead More

10 Signs You’re An Excellent Retail Boss

 Signs You’re An Excellent Retail Boss Of course we would all love to think that we are great retail leaders to work for. Especially when we invest the time and effort to build an amazing team and commit to bringing people in that complement it, consistently. We strive to support our teams by building career collateral and uncovering their latent talents to give them their best career growth opportunities and path. There are certain qualities that are necessary to be an effective leader: transparency, honesty, integrity, respect, optimism, bias towards action, forward-thinking…the list goes on. As retail leaders we need to possess a lot of competencies and skills to be the best leader for our individual team members and our collective team. However,Read More

8 Reasons Why You Are Passed Over For A Promotion In Retail

8 Reasons Why You Are Passed Over For A Promotion In Retail Field retail leadership is unique in that few jobs require people to be proficiently skilled in so many areas. We need to be remarkable merchants; customer experience champions; operationally exceptional; HR savvy [at least to an extent]; strong recruiters; solid in time-management & prioritization; present and accessible business partners for our team, our peers, and our bosses; strategic business leaders; energizing communicators,; etc. There is a lot going on at all times but great retail talent learns to step up and be great in all areas of the business and to surround themselves with people who are brilliant in the areas that may not be the leader’s strongest. There are frequentlyRead More

Why Your Employees Aren’t Advocating Your Retail Brand

Why Your Employees Aren’t Advocating Your Retail Brand According to the “Employees Rising” study from Weber Shandwick, social encouragement has an outsized impact on employer advocacy among employees. For example, employees with socially-encouraging employers are significantly more likely to help boost sales than employees whose employers aren’t socially encouraging (72% vs. 48%, respectively). Makes sense. The study goes on to say that: “One in five employees (21%) is estimated to be an employee activist, and another 33% have high potential to be employee activists. As the movement grows at an increasing speed, employers have an enormous opportunity to engage and capitalize on these powerful advocates, or risk missing out on an important group of supporters and, at worst, fail to curtail detractors whoRead More

Retail Organizational Alignment To Improve Employee Performance

Retail Organizational Alignment To Improve Employee Performance Organizational alignment is the absolute compatibility between the strategic and cultural paths, and consistency of them inside a team or, preferably, a whole retail organization. Much like signature relationships practices of specific teams, organizational culture is that it’s the only sustainable point of difference for any organization. Any retail organization can copy your strategy [it happens all the time], but nobody can copy your organizational culture. That is unique and tailored to the brand and, executives, senior leaders, junior leaders, and team members you invite onto your team! What Does Your Strategy Look Like? This is an unusual concept in retail. Most organizations steal their business models from successful organizations, fail to replicate what made itRead More