Passion Over Perfection

Passion Over Perfection This weekend I made a deal with my sons. Saturday we would visit Legoland for the day if Sunday they would enthusiastically embrace a trip to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. I recognize for most ten and six year old’s this would be a miserable concession but I am extremely fortunate to have children that enjoy an occasional visit to an art museum. There was a significant amount of dialog before, during, and after our visit about the pieces we viewed and what evoked emotion and why certain pieces were powerful (in a great and inspiring way or even in a disturbing way). One of the best artistic examples of passion over perfection to me – as it relatesRead More

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

Supporting An Ethical Workplace

Supporting An Ethical Workplace One of my newest self-development projects is studying for my SHRM-CP certification – which I am really excited about testing for in December of this year. One of my favorite areas to read about and dive into is around ethical practice competencies and general issues surrounding workplace ethics. 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 aRead More

Retail’s Sense Of Entitlement – The Enemy Of Success

Retail’s Sense Of Entitlement – The Enemy Of Success I have had the privilege of working for five retail organizations in the past 18-24 months  – as a consultant – in both short and long term capacities. The retail organizations have been very different in terms of products and/or services offered and processes used that define their business, but one thing is very much the same throughout each retail organization and it is very much compromising the health and outlook of far too many retail companies. Sense of entitlement…and it’s BAD! Over the past two to three months I have had a lot of lively and memorable debates with friends and colleagues about this really critical issue that we are facing. The debatesRead More

Being Positive In Today’s Retail Landscape

Being Positive In Today’s Retail Landscape Authentically positive people inside the retail industry are rare – most retailer leaders and team members walk around with a “negativity bias“. It is an unfortunate but very real trait we encounter in most of our retail coworkers and team members. One of my greatest challenges last year was really trying to turn around this propensity of people to possess a dangerous and overwhelming sensitivity to unpleasant or negative thoughts, comments, and/or news. Research shows that because we tend to favor the negative over the positive feelings/memories that we have to have a ratio of five positive events to one negative to maintain a healthy “balance”. Given the current retail industry environment – we experience a barrageRead 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

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

Developing Managerial Courage In Retail Leaders

Developing Managerial Courage In Retail Leaders As I mentioned in my last post, it has been a wildly busy several weeks. I am currently working on an amazing project with a company that is extremely challenged with their Store Leader level of employee. The company I am currently supporting does not invest in their people. Store leaders are selected using an outdated set of criteria – with the most important and valued “skill” that their store leaders can possess is [wait for it…] compliance. Very rarely am I working with an organization that is extremely healthy – sometimes it happens [but not very often] – in the case of this project, the company is struggling. It is struggling with its organizational culture, employeeRead More

Retail Leadership Accountability In Team Dynamics

Retail Leadership Accountability In Team Dynamics Holy Cow! It has been an extremely busy few weeks on my end so I have not been able to write as much as I would like to. The issue with this is I have SO much content to write about – I am overwhelmed by what to share and where to start. But…here I go… Inside this colorful, busy, and active few weeks one thing has consistently stood out and become exceedingly clear…there needs to be lots of dialog around personal accountability in retail leadership. I am currently working with a retailer to support field and corporate communications and to ensure that the voices in the field are included inside corporate initiatives and planning. One ofRead More

Inspiring The Future Of Retail Productivity & Organizational Health

Inspiring The Future Of Retail Productivity & Organizational Health I have the unique and invaluable experience, over the past several months to connect with lots of different retail organizations and get to know team members inside the organization from C-Level leadership to Part-Time Sales Associates. One of the most interesting constants I encounter when I am learning about the business is that on the list of business obstacles – the people piece usually falls toward the bottom of the issues. In recent months I have heard about marketing concerns, product availability/allocation issues, operational challenges – I have even heard rationalizations relating to the weather, the finicky customer – very rarely do senior- and executive-leadership truly assess their people component and readily identify opportunityRead More

Boosting Employee Morale In Retail

Boosting Employee Morale In Retail According to Sociologist and Harvard Professor Alexander Leighton, “morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose.” Mr Leighton spoke to the fact that morale is particularly important during times of challenges and controversy. As most retail organizations continue to fix their profit and customer experience issues we are wearing away at the morale that we desperately need to drive results. Leaders, particularly those who are responsible for the customer facing teams, must know how to inspire and maintain a high-level of morale if they are committed to success and excellence for their team. Unfortunately, it is all to common that morale is measured by theRead More

The Dangers Of The Status Quo In Retail

The Dangers Of The Status Quo In Retail In almost every single retail workplace there is an accepted and established way of doing things. These are policies, processes, and procedures that someone developed and deemed a “best practice” along the way. Often these processes are defined when a policy is launched – sometimes the practice is updated or minimally reshaped but so frequently it is established and then forgotten and the employees are still required to follow the accountability to the letter – without question. Not updating, eliminating, or overhauling the status quo can be a very dangerous and destructive path to choose in today’s retail climate. Working under the umbrella of the status quo during this precarious time leads to the vastRead More