This Is What Great Retail Teams Look Like

This Is What Great Retail Teams Look Like Every retail leader and retail team member aspires to work with people who support, encourage, inspire, and help them bring out the best in themselves and each other. Well-integrated, high-performing teams never lose sight of their goals and are largely self-propelling and self-sustaining. And it all comes down to their leadership. Great leaders inspire greatness in others. The are involved and supportive consistently and hold their team to a high standard of performance and give them the tools and resources to be amazing. It Starts With The Leader The Europe-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 establishesRead More

How To Support A Collaborative Retail Team

How To Support A Collaborative Retail Team For the past three months I have been very involved in some really exciting retail consulting projects. This is a unique experience because I am learning a lot and getting to experience and identify collaborative efforts and that tools that work and some practices that do not. Two of my projects are very easy and the programs we are working through are areas that we are very much aligned and things that I am extremely familiar with. The third project is a little more complex for a few reasons, (1) There are more people involved [13 of us], (2) Our priorities/passions are not aligned, (3) We are functioning in our own silos. This project has ledRead More

“Human Leadership” In Retail

Human Leadership In Retail I am a strong believer in investing in employees. Investing in training & development. Investing in recognition tools that make people [especially top performers/contributors] feel valued and appreciated. Investing in career path planning that is aligned with the company objectives and ensuring that we have the right people in the right places and ensuring that they have the tools and resources to deliver amazing results. I have always aspired to be an accessible and involved business partner to my team members. As a retail leader, I have always felt my job is 90% how my team feels, how I support them, and guide them to find their success. Recently, I read an article from the amazing and always brilliantRead More

Staying Productive And Motivated In Retail

Staying Productive And Motivated In Retail The other day I wrote a blog article titled, “Competing with ‘Good Enough‘”. In that article I referenced an article from CareerRealism that essentially explained that there is, fundamentally, no reason to deliver greatness. There’s no benefit and the real winners are the ones that move on to a new role. Presumably with a higher salary, better benefits, and a better title.  After thinking about it for the past couple of days – I, fundamentally, disagree with the philosophy – for the most part. I agree that consistency of recognition in retail is definitely an opportunity both at the leadership level and the corporate level. There are very few organizations that truly and genuinely recognize and rewardRead More

Seasonal Talent In Retail

Seasonal Employees In Retail There is a frequently unacknowledged reality in retail that seasonal employees are the embodiment of revolving door employees and that we need not invest in them as we would our permanent talent because “they are only here for a short period of time”…BUT… if you are seeking to fill your store(s) with amazing, loyal, dedicated, and productive talent – you have to maintain your standards for ALL talent. Seasonal people can be a fabulous asset to your business. If you treat them well, they are enthusiastic and appreciative of opportunity because a lot of retailers don’t see this as a role that brings value. Organizations use the ‘bodies’ they bring on to plug in scheduling holes, they don’t investRead More

Understanding & Managing “Upward Delegation”

Understanding & Managing “Upward Delegation” For as many years as I can remember – even starting out at the beginning of my retail career – I have been confused by the sheer volume of calls that employees make to their Store Manager, to their District Manager about the smallest, least important, and non-urgent matters. Something that I experienced as a Store Manager [and quickly fixed] and something I still see Store Directors and Department Heads struggle with. I have always been able to speak to this behavior but had no clue it had a name until, literally, three days ago [where have I been?]. But…here you have it…Upward Delegation it is. So, What is “Upward Delegation”? To deal with an evolving and complexRead More

The Art of Effective Delegation in Retail [And Why It’s Important]

The Art of Effective Delegation in Retail [And Why It’s Important] “Only 30% of managers think they can delegate well … and only one in three is considered a good delegator by his or her subordinates. This means only 1 in 10 managers really know how to empower subordinates“ – John Hunt, London Business School Professor and Financial Times columnist One of the biggest opportunity areas that I have been able to see consistently in my eons in retail is in developing effective delegation techniques in emerging leaders in the business. Delegation is an extremely valuable competency to possess as it effects three critical areas of effective leadership, efficiency, team member development and organizational sustainability. Doug Fleener, author of The Profitable Retailer: 56Read More

Why And How Success Is So Seductive

Why and How Success Is So Seductive “It’s seductive to believe that success comes from genius, it’s a pity that it is seldom so.” After reading an article the other day on Huffington Post Business about the “Seductiveness of Success” my interest in the subject was piqued. I decided to dig in a deeper to find a bit more on the topic and what makes those we consider true successes tick and what the pitfalls may be as those of us who seek to create a truly successful personal and professional brand will face as we navigate our way through the path to total world domination to leave our marks. Every day we are competing with many other personalities in the workplace forRead More

How The Very Best Retail Leaders Empower Their Employees

How The Very Best Retail Leaders Empower Their Employees Empowerment – it’s a term that we hear a lot in retail but the actual meaning is a little fuzzy. I went in search of a clarifying definition here is one I found – from Christine Chartrand at Atman Co., “Employee empowerment is the process of giving employees a certain amount of independence and responsibility to analyze, control, and make decisions with regards to specific tasks or projects. It means inspiring and motivating and enabling employees to think for themselves and have unique views on certain projects or issues, as well as allow for a degree of autonomy so they can take initiative and ownership.” “People want guidance, not rhetoric; they need to knowRead More

5 Retail Leadership Skills That Make You Look Awesome

5 Retail Leadership Skills That Make You Look Awesome Recently, I was asked to participate in a program to up-skill sales and supervisor level retail employees [aka: future retail leaders] through an online class. So, this fun assignment has led me to recollect some of the bits and pieces of my job over many, many, many years that I found incredibly helpful that no one ever “taught” me but I learned a long the way either by seeing certain behaviors that I have be able to offer growth guidance to my team on or through my own mistakes as I have grown in our industry. Brevity And Speaking Like A Human Being Are Critical For Effective “Off The Cuff” Communication: Well thought throughRead More

Jump Start Your Day: Retail Edition

Jump Start Your Day: Retail Edition I think most of us can agree that Richard Branson is a pretty interesting entrepreneur. He also seems like a innovative, considerate, and fearless businessman. These qualities, in addition to his tremendous business successes, make him an fascinating person to follow, read about, learn from. For the past 50 years Richard Branson has maintained the same morning routine. Here is what that looks like: -Waking up at 5:00am -He builds in time to exercise and spend time with family [which then allows him to focus on work] -He allows time for reflection and organization (a) During this time he paces out his day, catches up on news, replies to emails -He believes in waking up with passionRead More

How To Beat The Winter Blues In Retail

How To Beat The Winter Blues In Retail As I sit here watching the beautiful snow fall that I have wished for all winter, it’s hard to believe that people don’t love snow or winter. Perhaps it’s because after spending the last two winters the Southwest where only the Summer season existed. It made me appreciate the beauty of all four seasons and appreciate them for their uniqueness. If you didn’t know, there is actually a type of psychological affliction called Seasonal Affective Disorder is a rare phenomenon that has been exaggerated. Out of 800 people who were surveyed in the initial SAD study 92% of participants reported seasonal changes in mood and behaviour and 27% said these were a problem. According toRead More

High-Resolution Leadership

I admit it, I am a bit of data nerd.  I actually get really excited when new statistical reports are released. Recently, DDI  released “High-Resolution Leadership: A collection of findings that reflect how leadership shapes today’s business landscape.” The information contained in this collection of reports is very high-value and important to the future of our industry, talent, organizational development, and growth: Here is how we stack up in our industry. In Retail, our strengths, overall, are: • Business Savvy • Coaching & Developing others • Compelling Communication • Cultivating Networks We rank as “mid-range” with: • Building Organizational Talent • Customer Focus (really?!?) • Driving Execution • Driving For Results • Inspiring Excellence • Operational Decision Making We are down in inRead More

Retail Leaders: You Own Your Team’s Results and Satisfaction At Work

Retail Leaders: You Own Your Team’s Results and Satisfaction At Work According to a Corporate Executive Board’s Study/Report, “64% of employees do not feel their current role truly reflects how they do, or should, work with others to get their jobs done, and only 40% report their manager is able to effectively connect them with their co-workers, so many are uncertain about whom to work with and how to do it successfully”. In the report it supports building a collaborative workplace for elevated performance results, organizations that were able to move more employees to high levels of enterprise performance realized a 10% improvement in profitability, compared to a 5% improvement for those who emphasized and achieved high levels of individual performance alone. TheRead More

How To Have A Great Start To The Week

Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays? Most people dislike Mondays. It just seems like the thing to do when Monday rolls around. I actually love Monday…I am one of those people that can separate themselves from work on my days off but Sunday nights I start brainstorming how I am going to attack and conquer the week starting Monday. It the pedestrian thing to do to moan (literally for 12 minutes the average worker moans about Monday – yikes) and groan about the start of the work week. Why though? Here are some interesting facts about Monday: -According to The Telegraph UK: “Most of find the start of the week so demoralizing that we can’t even bear to crack a smile untilRead More