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

8 Reasons Why You Are Passed Over For A Promotion In Retail

8 Reasons Why You Are Passed Over For A Promotion In Retail Field retail leadership is unique in that few jobs require people to be proficiently skilled in so many areas. We need to be remarkable merchants; customer experience champions; operationally exceptional; HR savvy [at least to an extent]; strong recruiters; solid in time-management & prioritization; present and accessible business partners for our team, our peers, and our bosses; strategic business leaders; energizing communicators,; etc. There is a lot going on at all times but great retail talent learns to step up and be great in all areas of the business and to surround themselves with people who are brilliant in the areas that may not be the leader’s strongest. There are frequentlyRead More

Engaging & Leading An Inherited Retail Team

Engaging & Leading An Inherited Retail Team In retail we are incredibly lucky if we have the opportunity to build a team from scratch, usually, – however – when we enter into a new business we inherit an established team. Sometimes, especially for the most ambitious and determined retail leaders, this can be a very challenging scenario.  Stepping in as the leader of an existing team must be approached with sensitivity and patience, especially when you are new to the company and team. Here are some thoughts on how to get to know, successfully engage, and lead an inherited team to amazing results: Avoid coming in with a preconceived, detailed plan: Chances are you’re being hired to fill a void and address currentRead More

Taking Initiative In The Retail Workplace

Taking Initiative In The Retail Workplace A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the Superintendent of the school district my children attend. The principal for the elementary school suggested to the Superintendent that she contact me to help redesign the district’s mission statement. I am very involved my children’s school and I was flattered and excited to be able to help support the forward vision for this amazing district. This also included designing a new values-based acrostic for their district mascot, the DRAGON. I was one of 10 people involved in the meetings – the only non-faculty member. Currently, only 2% of the faculty could recite the Mission Statement of the organization so during the course of conversation the presenters would solicitRead 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

Conscientious Retail Leadership

Conscientious Retail Leadership Conscientious people live longer, get better grades, commit fewer crimes, earn more (along with their spouses), have greater influence, are more likely to lead companies that succeed long-term, and are happier at work. Those are some pretty compelling arguments for focusing on being conscientious, right?! Conscientiousness The retail world could use a little more conscientiousness, that’s for sure. To be vigilant and aware requires the ability to check in with one’s own conscience, beliefs and values pillars. The omnipresent distractions and interruptions of every day life may attempt to get in the way, but it’s incredibly important that we at least try to become more present, thoughtful individuals and leaders to our team.  When you lack conscientiousness, you allow thoseRead More

Authenticity In Retail – And Why It’s Important

Authenticity In Retail – And Why It’s Important Creating a culture of inspiration, innovation, open and transparent communication, and engagement in your workplace is critical to the success of today’s retail organization. When workplace politics get in the way of real results, great teamwork, and deplete you of the energy to make your impact in the business – you stifle growth and create obstacles that negatively impact employee engagement which, in turn, impacts customer experience. Authenticity, on a broad scale, is fundamentally about building trust in the workplace – “Every company has its own unique culture and its own unique challenges. There is no magic formula. A high level of trust, however, is always very important. The most common misconception I have observedRead More

Is Yours A ‘Great Place To Work’?

Is Yours A ‘Great Place To Work’? Building and maintaining an employer brand that resonates with the community and public requires striking a balance between what’s good for the organization and what’s good for the organization’s people. Though this may be a seemingly impossible task for some organizations; it can be done. The brilliant minds at Glassdoor compiled a short list of the 5 traits their “Great Places to Work” winners all had in common. Here are the fundamentally shared qualities: People Matter: The genesis of great places to work starts with the people they invite onto their team. And then how those great people are ambassadors of the brand/organization and help to attract other great people. So, you have to create aRead More