You Say Self-Promotion; I Say Think Again

You Say Self-Promotion; I Say Think Again Thanks to social media, email, and our never-ending connectivity to the internet – it is a VERY noisy and busy world out there. Self-promotion standards of etiquette are frequently shifting and vague, at best. And sometimes we can all lose sight of what is acceptable, invisible, and healthy self-promotion and creep into the arena of terrifically obnoxious. I use, primarily, two networking | social media platforms, LinkedIn & Twitter. I love LinkedIn. I live on LinkedIn. I love networking and connecting with others in my industry and with those whom I think it would be mutually beneficial relationship. Over the last several years, I have learned a thing or two about making connections that are viableRead More

7 Ways To Encourage A Culture Of Innovation

7 Ways To Encourage A Culture Of Innovation Effective and smart leaders know they have to maintain a competitive edge within their industries in order to capture their piece of the proverbial pie. Therefore, it is essential that a business continually improves upon what it offers – in product, service, and|or experience – and how it operates to ensure that they are maximizing all opportunities that exist and building a sustainable and agile business. One of the qualities that separates bland and forgettable businesses [even if at one point they were novelty and popular] from outstanding ones is innovation. Organizations that construct a culture that encourages innovation – at every level of the business – allows them to remain adaptable and forward-thinking. ThoseRead More

Saccharin Leadership: Enough Already With The Sugar-Coating

Saccharin Leadership: Enough Already With The Sugar-Coating One of the principles of great leadership and a way the most successful leaders distinguish themselves – in any industry – is by building great relationships with their colleagues. They have unwavering reputations for being authentic, empathetic, and reliably honest. Global research from Edelman’s Trust Barometer reveals that despite integrity being the most desired leadership quality, only about 25% of people think their bosses actually have it. According to Merriam-Webster the definition of integrity is: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values and the quality and state of being complete or undivided. If integrity is the most desired leadership quality and if we commit to being authentic, truth-telling business partners and true leadersRead More

Making Your Own Luck In Retail

Making Your Own Luck In Retail As I have mentioned in a past article or two – I have been consulting for an extremely challenging company – in the recent months – to assess the company culture and challenges that exist in the field that are impeding growth and negatively impacting brand reputation. One of the biggest challenges that, frankly, I have never experienced before was an overwhelming lack of interest in personal growth initiatives of the field leadership and store leadership teams. It was almost as though they fought learning so that they had an excuse not to deliver results. They were happily and proactively ignorant of almost any expectation of their role and responsibilities but, holy cow – could they referenceRead More

Practicing Personal Accountability In Retail

Practicing Personal Accountability In Retail As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have been very busy for the past few months. So much so, that writing has fallen by the wayside a bit, unfortunately. I have, literally, been searching for free moments here and there to start, work on and finish this post because it is about a real challenge we are facing in retail. So here we go… I am working with three organizations right now and one of them is a specialty retailer that is really feeling the challenges that so many smaller retailers are feeling but they also have added another layer of challenge where they hire predominantly to the criteria that their Store Managers are warm bodies withRead More

8 Signs You Have A Terrible Retail Employee

8 Signs You Have A Terrible Retail Employee Back in February I wrote about the 15 Traits Of A Terrible Retail Leader, which – to date – has been my most shared blog post. I put myself – and several of my colleagues – under a microscope of self-reflection to ensure that we were focused on being the best leaders for our team that we possibly could be. That post was the catalyst for a lot of conversations, and a lot of email dialogs, some very vivid Skype dialogs. All of those things were wonderful and fun results simply for talking about real issues we experience and we deal with and our team members deal with every day. Today, I wanted to writeRead More

The Out Of Touch & Toxic Retail CEO

The Out Of Touch & Toxic Retail CEO As I have mentioned before and I am so grateful for the things I have learned by writing this blog. I have met some truly incredible people. I have gained invaluable knowledge. I have actually ranked in the Top 100 Productivity Blog worldwide. This has been an amazing year so far and I am so glad to have this medium to share information, engage in vivid and colorful dialogs, and connect with other retail professional of all levels. I have also been able to support a variety of retail organizations in retail leadership and culture development in both short- and long-term capacities. One of the great lessons that I have learned is how to quicklyRead More

Conscientious Retail Leadership

Conscientious Retail Leadership Conscientious people live longer, get better grades, commit fewer crimes, earn more (along with their spouses), have greater influence, are more likely to lead companies that succeed long-term, and are happier at work. Those are some pretty compelling arguments for focusing on being conscientious, right?! Conscientiousness The retail world could use a little more conscientiousness, that’s for sure. To be vigilant and aware requires the ability to check in with one’s own conscience, beliefs and values pillars. The omnipresent distractions and interruptions of every day life may attempt to get in the way, but it’s incredibly important that we at least try to become more present, thoughtful individuals and leaders to our team.  When you lack conscientiousness, you allow thoseRead More

Bringing Out The Best In Our Retail Teams

Bringing Out The Best In Our Retail Teams When it comes to hiring talent, there are two elemental strategies that work. The first is to hire the very best talent on the market; the second is to hire decent talent and help support them by bringing out the best in them. Since most retail organization are unwilling to make the investment in recruiting and retaining the top tier of talent, most of us have to go with door number two. As retail leaders we enjoy taking control of the room and leading our team. However, that doesn’t help support the growth and development of the talent that we work with. As a retail leader you’re intelligent. But your job is not to beRead More

Simple Ways To Build A Great Retail Team

Simple Ways To Build A Great Retail Team Having the individual talent needed to drive results is the first step to delivering amazing team results. As a leader you have the ability to inspire, motivate and shape the group of smart, driven, customer-focused individuals through your leadership initiatives, your accessibility, your involvement, and your commitment to being a great business partner. Strong working relationships, collaboration, and contribution are things that great talent expects to find in their work culture and they value these qualities in their colleagues. Fostering this culture is something that needs your focused and committed leadership attention – to help support and guide them through any obstacles your individual team members or the collective team may encounter. Your team willRead 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

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

The Art of Providing Fair & Balanced Feedback in Retail

The Art of Providing Fair & Balanced Feedback in Retail There is no doubt that creating a retail workplace that expects and values ongoing, in-the-moment feedback is significantly more beneficial to the health of the business, the growth of the team, and the customer experience than leaving feedback and guidance to annual or semi-annual performance appraisal time. Unfortunately, not all retail organizations have embraced this philosophy and are still stuck believing “coaching and counseling” and using PA’s to drive performance improvement only during specific times of the year is a driver of engagement and productivity. It is not. I titled this articled the way I did because there is an art to providing fair and balanced, in-the-moment feedback to your team members. ThereRead More

How To Be A Great Retail Team Member

How To Be A Great Retail Team Member As you may know the ability to work well on a retail team can make or break your retail reputation and professional brand. As a matter of fact – in a previous article I mention how great retail teams tend to “weed out” those colleagues who are not great collaborators [even though they may be great employees] if they can’t support their team members.  Great team players are able to do more, get greater satisfaction from their work and make a bigger impact on their companies and their coworkers through combined behaviors. Here are some of those shared qualities and behaviors that make for the best team members: Prioritize Getting To Know Your Colleagues: CheckRead More

Retail Leadership: Simple Steps To Solve Big Problems

Retail Leadership: Simple Steps To Solve Big Problems Recently I was reading an article about the amazing philanthropist and person Kelsey Langdale, Co-Developer of packH2O, which aims to solve the water crisis in underdeveloped countries. In it she outlines her thoughts on how to stop, assess, and tackle issues that are overwhelming in nature. These steps are absolutely relevant in any business setting and it really does bring simple actions and processes to solving challenging business obstacles. Identify the top-level goals: This is your opportunity to break the problem down into three main parts. Three phases that define what you hope to accomplish and achieve that are measurable and that start to erode the problem through action and process. Reassess at each phaseRead More