How To Support Emerging Leaders [And Why It’s So Important]

How To Support Emerging Leaders [And Why It’s So Important] I have spent the majority of my professional life in the retail industry. I am slowly extracting myself from being exclusively designated as a retailer and voraciously working on some self-development initiatives that will support my skill set and core competencies that are transferable and compelling to different industries. I am currently working with four organizations – two inside of retail and two outside. My resume has always been difficult for retail to digest, my diverse experience inside our industry has absolutely worked against me [as it relates to being desirable to retailers (and more specifically, their ATS)] –  but as I am being contacted by a variety of organizations and exploring opportunityRead More

Earning Respect In The Retail Workplace

Earning Respect In The Retail Workplace There is an intangible but super salient quality that needs to exist for a retail workplace to be highly-productive. That quality is respect. In order for a team to achieve the greatest results there must be high level of trust and respect for each other. There are challenges around respect and trust in too many retail organizations. This was this never more apparent this year than when I attended a spring meeting, as a guest speaker, for a retail organization. I arrived at the venue early and saw a region of Store Leaders come in. As the team members arrived they saw colleagues they know and clearly enjoy and you could see cliques forming as people wereRead More

7 Qualities Of A Remarkable Retail Leader

7 Qualities Of A Remarkable Retail Leader This morning I was browsing retail news and catch up on things that are happening inside our industry and I came across this article from Ashley Lutz at Business Insider. This article is about the decline and impending bankruptcy that online retailer, Nasty Gal, is facing. The story includes this line, “The company has had layoffs, and former workers complained of a toxic environment.“. I remember reading about this organization a few years back and some former employees described their experience as working in an environment of “mean girls”. A culture that was built around back-stabbing, gossiping|rumor spreading, hidden agendas, etc.. And where did this culture start? It typically stems from the leader, of course. InRead More

Excuses & Assigning Blame In Retail

Excuses & Assigning Blame In Retail Excuses! UGH – where do I start? Excuses make me crazy. I grew up in home that didn’t allow excuses. You made decisions – good or bad – and you had to endure the consequence of those decisions – good or bad. You didn’t blame your troubles or successes on chance or luck – you made deliberate and conscious decisions that had a real result and outcome that you – and you alone – owned. You didn’t excuse your lack of performance on anyone or anything. If you want it – you go after it. That has been the case with me as long as I can remember. Have I – on occasion – tried to makeRead 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

6 Ways To “Show Up” As A Retail Leader

6 Ways To “Show Up” As A Retail Leader One thing people learn about me very quickly is that I am a “no excuses” kind of gal. I believe we own our attitude and our commitment to life, work and the various situations we experience every single day. Does that mean I am made of stone or oblivious to the happenings around me? Absolutely not. But what it does mean is that I, wholeheartedly, believe that regardless of challenges, obstacles, issues, or frustrations I encounter each day – I owe each moment of the day it’s best chance to be great and to maximize the moments I have to be great. That is a personal and professional philosophy as both a mom andRead More

Inspiring Greatness In Uninspiring Retail Environments

Inspiring Greatness In Uninspiring Retail Environments Let’s face it – the state of most retail organizations is pretty bleak right now. Retailers are struggling to evolve to today’s consumer spending preferences and habits. With that comes internal struggles that can, frequently, cause the culture to become rigid, confused, and desperate. In these moments the culture will be impacted negatively. We tend to become haphazard in our communication of changes, we start to value compliance over innovation, we cease involving the teams [especially in the field] in planning processes, feedback, customer perceptions/obstacles, etc and become micro-managing dictators of compliance. In these environments, more and more employees feel stuck at work and are looking for glimmers of hope for the future of the organization andRead 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

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

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

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

Honesty In Retail

Honesty In Retail The other day I wrote about Authenticity In Retail, at the conclusion of that article I wrote, “The benefit of this [authenticity], as a retail leader, is that everyone our team, every one of our coworkers, and everyone we interact with knows that we are a passionate and committed truth-teller, even when we have to carefully and thoughtfully communicate that truth. That makes us trustworthy as a coach, a mentor, and a leader in our industry and this, ultimately, defines our professional brand.“ A committed truth-teller. It sounds so simple – yet so many people are incapable of communicating the truth. This may for any number of reasons: We are trying to spare someone’s feelings or pride Not wanting othersRead More

Setting Retail Store Managers Up For Success

Setting Retail Store Managers Up For Success I engaged in a very lively Skype video conference the other day, following an article I wrote, with some colleagues and we were discussing a succession plan and, subsequent, career path planning for their organization for Store Level Leadership. As we were talking through a better process, their two greatest impediments became extremely clear: (1) that they were promoting based on time in position  and (2) that they were using the archaic succession planning process that involves “forced ranking” on an outdated and ineffective set of criteria that was developed to position the most compliant of the bunch as the most qualified for the next level [and there was no next step in place to closeRead More

The Retail Disconnect

The Retail Disconnect Sometimes during the course of reading or researching a topic I think is relevant to our industry I come across really interesting and important statistics. The challenging part is seeing that this information is so available to us but we are (a) lacking the ability to identify these challenges could apply to our organization or (b) recognizing that they do, but we are unable to create an effective plan and currently do not have the leadership capability to elevate the results in the company in learning & development and bottom line impact through customer experience. These gaps are definitely an opportunity for most retail organizations and we need a strategy around them to improve and deliver needed development to bringRead More