Traits of Unique & Fabulous People

Traits of Unique & Fabulous People I have always been an advocate of inviting unique personalities into the workplace. I love rebels and legitimately creative [even disruptive] individuals. I love ambition, transparency, integrity, and humor [unfortunately, these are very unique traits in most workplaces]. I love people who are authentic and honest human beings with passion, enthusiasm, and honorable intentions. I love people that are a little quirky and who go out of their way not to be like everyone else. Most of these qualities are not something that the average organizations seeks to find in candidates. And when these traits present in a new person, the organizational culture usually tries to squash them and, instead, encourage conformity by talking about “fit”. ThereRead More

Use Common Sense & Be A Kind Person

Use Common Sense & Be A Kind Person It continues to be evident as I work with so many diverse and unique people/groups that far too many issues of miscommunication start with all the labels we assign and adopt for ourselves. We label what kind of leader we are. We label what kind of learner we are. We label what kind of parent we are. We label what kind of shopper we are. We have a harmful obsession with labeling ourselves with nicely packaged ideas of what and who we are. We assign labels for ourselves so that others can understand the fundamentals of our behavior. Why is it that in contemporary culture, we appear to have such a strong desire to dissectRead More

Go Ahead, Underestimate Me.

In late-November I was contacted by a recruiter for an exciting opportunity with Tory Burch for a truly fabulous role. I love Tory Burch and have been a very committed client and brand ambassador of theirs since 2013. I had a delightful interview with the Senior Vice President of this organization and a few days later emailed the recruiter for feedback and follow-up. The recruiter called me later that day and told me that the SVP loved our conversation, loved my energy and vision, he communicated to the in-house recruiter that I was “impressive” but his concern was that I lacked luxury retail experience and that is “very important to him”. Fair enough – in any of my traditional roles that is absolutelyRead More

I Declined An Offer For My Dream Job. Here’s Why…

I Declined An Offer For My Dream Job. Here’s Why… In early Fall 2018 I was contacted by Dyson – a company that I – as a consumer – loved. The role they were seeking to fill was fabulous and I was really excited, energized, and flattered that they contacted me to discuss this opportunity. The role had been vacant for eight months and according to the executives in the organization, the field was struggling with selling and product knowledge – especially to consumers falling outside the economic description of a “deep-resource” customer. After speaking with nine people over the course of approximately five weeks, I knew I could help elevate engagement through learning & development, retention, and customer experience. However, there wereRead More

You Say Finding Top Talent Is Your Greatest Priority…

You Say Finding Top Talent Is Your Greatest Priority… Approximately two weeks ago, I threw an ice cream and snow cone social for my colleagues in Austin, Texas because we’d hit an amazing milestone in the project I am working on and I wanted to say thank you for the incredible level of team work that put us two weeks ahead of the project timeline. It was a nice break from work for an hour or two and a welcome and fun relief from the heat here in Central Texas over the last several weeks. During this social someone brought up the topic of recruiters and job searches and the room erupted in horror stories, initially, and then comical and outrageous stories ofRead More

Dealing With The Victim Mentality In The Workplace

Dealing With The Victim Mentality In The Workplace Sometimes it takes me a while to work up to writing about a certain topic – this is definitely one of those as I understand it can be provocative. However, it is a topic that is a real and pervasive issue in far too many workplaces. I have always had challenges dealing with people who choose to be victims of their lives. It’s constantly something I am working on – as a leader – because dealing with ambitious, driven, accountable people is energizing and engaging for me.  I find it incredibly frustrating dealing with people who perceive themselves as victims of the universe. These are people that frequently believe that exceptions should be made forRead More

Dealing With Selfish People In The Workplace

Dealing With Selfish People In The Workplace It is a part of our hard-wired human instinct to be selfish – to some extent. To want to satisfy your need for things and circumstances to be in your favor is pretty normal…until it’s taken to the extreme. Selfishness in the workplace  – when kept in check and displayed responsibly and intelligently – can absolutely mean you are hungry, ambitious, and you have the drive to achieve excellence  and you simply want the credit for it and you want to earn the rewards and opportunity that come with accomplishment. Then there are the greedy, miserable, and horrible “me monsters” – as my friend, Steven, calls them. They believe that they are all about survival ofRead More

Defining Culture Through People

Defining Culture Through People Typically, when I begin a dialog with an organization – one of the first things we discuss is “culture”. From my perspective, organizational culture is defined by how people inside the organization interact with each other. How a company involves their team at all levels and includes them in building the culture. Culture is  learned behavior; not an assigned one; it’s not a by-product of anything other than the people, starting with the CEO. Each company creates their own unique organizational culture by the individuals they invite onto their team and then by actions the people take once inside the organization; not the other way around. Behaviors Are Contagious Research by UCSD’s James Fowler and Harvard’s Nicholas Christakis, hasRead More

Supporting An Ethical Workplace

Supporting An Ethical Workplace One of my consistently favorite areas of workplace [and human] behavior to read about and dive into is around ethical practice competencies and general issues surrounding workplace ethics. There is consistently an abundance of information around how absent it is in workplace cultures and leadership behaviors. Part of the reason I am completely obsessed with this topic is that there is SO much information on what ethical business practices are, and how they are defined. The other reason I am fascinated by this topic is because – to me – behaving in an honest way, with a high-level of integrity and transparency is [and should be – always] the norm.  As a leader, I pathologically possess a commitment toRead 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

One Simple Question In Retail

One Simple Question In Retail I am currently working with an organization on a short-term project to identify the “critical success factors” in their business so that we can develop a better, more effective candidate profile and talent attraction/selection process for their growth and the organization’s health. It’s been a wonderful experience these past couple of weeks because I get the opportunity to meet with and – essentially – interview people of all levels of employment engagement and talent to find out what the consistent factors are in those that are extremely successful and driven inside the organization and those that are not – and everyone in between. This is to capture a fair and true assessment of the non-negotiable qualities that areRead More

Practicing Personal Accountability

Practicing Personal Accountability 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 with a pulse.Read 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

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