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

Keeping A Retail Team Positive During Leadership Transition

Keeping A Retail Team Positive During Leadership Transition Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. But I’d like to add a third certainty for those of us in retail: change! Those of us who work inside this industry get to experience change and shifting priorities on a daily – and sometimes hourly – basis. That’s one of the things we usually enjoy. If you are in retail and you don’t enjoy evolution – this can be a pretty rough and miserable industry to be in. The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. – H.P. Lovecraft Usually, as it relates to ourRead More

How To Fix Broken Work Relationships In Retail

Broken Work Relationships In Retail One of the greatest pieces of advice my very first Director of Stores ever gave me when I first started in retail was “don’t burn bridges. Retail is a very small community and you will interacting with the same people throughout your career”. This advice was very valuable and frighteningly true. Retail is not always easy and sometimes we fall into unhealthy or unhappy patterns with our coworkers. Most coworkers won’t overtly show their dislike for you as they are cognizant that displaying their dislike or upset with their colleagues may impact their careers negatively. Instead they will display passive aggressive practices and/or resort to juvenile behaviors to communicate their displeasure. Doing or saying things to create difficultyRead More

How Retail Leaders Connect With Their Team

How Retail Leaders Connect With Their Team One of the challenges senior field leaders face in their day-to-day role is how to connect with all of their team members to build an effective, cohesive, productive, and aligned team that is collectively committed to delivering excellence in the business. Unless we are District Leaders or Regional Leaders in a highly-saturated market – we have remote stores and teams that we need to energize and engage without, necessarily, seeing them more than two or three times per quarter. It is fairly easy to inspire and connect with teams that you see/visit frequently but it is so important to build time into your visit to inspire and get to know your teams you may not seeRead More

Great Retail Leaders Are Emotionally Resilient

Great Retail Leaders Are Emotionally Resilient Emotional resilience: it’s the armor you need for modern life. Those of us who have been in retail for a while recognize the value of being resilient. As we see our industry take new shape and evolve daily, emotional resiliency has become a soft skill that is necessary to react to and overcome the obstacles we encounter daily at work. “At the heart of resilience is a belief in oneself—yet also a belief in something larger than oneself. Resilient people do not let adversity define them. They find resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves, transcending pain and grief by perceiving bad times as a temporary state of affairs… It’s possible to strengthen your inner self and yourRead 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

You May Be A Bad Retail Leader If…

You May Be A Bad Retail Leader If… It is an unfortunate reality that we have significantly more ineffective and banal “managers” in retail. So many use outdated practices based on old-school leadership theories and principles. We know that most “managers” are simply “good enough” or mediocre, at best. But that is not going to keep our industry healthy or allow us the ability to grow our brands and brand reputation to our customers or potential talent. Interestingly, as the Wall Street Journal states, “Gallup has found that only three out of ten bosses have the natural or coachable talent to become great at managing people. The company says that such people motivate their employees, assert themselves to overcome obstacles, create a cultureRead More

Let’s Talk About Great Retail Leaders

Let’s Talk About Great Retail Leaders The European-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 establishes the operating principles and values that are conducive to high performance. The evidence for this is clearly seen in organizations where a leader who creates a high performance team moves to another part of the organization, or a different organization, and within 18 months they once again establish a high-performing team. That is a pretty powerful thought – especially to challenge organizations to devise a strategy around recognizing, valuing and retaining their high-contributing leaders. It’s also a great warning to those that may think moving an ineffective leader into anotherRead More

Silly Mistakes That Retail Leaders Make

Silly Mistakes That Retail Leaders Make As retail leaders we, at times, walk a fine line with our teams. We have to be accessible and connected with our teams but we have to do so and maintain a level of professionalism and credibility as guides, mentors, and supports to everyone we represent and lead – as well as our colleagues and bosses. We have to consistently model the behaviors of what right looks like and silently instill career capital through our actions, decisions, and passion for our business. Sometimes this is easier than it sounds. We are human beings and – most of us – are human beings with flaws. We make mistakes and while most mistakes or missteps aren’t credibility killers –Read More

Assumptions Are – Generally – Bad For Retail Business

Assumptions Are – Generally – Bad For Retail Business When I enter into a new role inside a new company – one of the things I quickly assess is how many assumptions are being made in the business. Are people interpreting the same direction is extreme ways or strangely different ways? Do I hear a lot of team members during dialogs – cut the speaker off saying “I know” or finish the speakers thought as if they are certain of the conclusion but they’re off target? As retail leaders we all know that being able to communicate with clarity and bring structure to direction that is confused or slightly chaotic is a necessary competency. So it is critically valuable – when you hearRead More