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

Setting Retail Store Managers Up For Success

Setting Retail Store Managers Up For Success I engaged in a very lively Skype video conference the other day, following an article I wrote, with some colleagues and we were discussing a succession plan and, subsequent, career path planning for their organization for Store Level Leadership. As we were talking through a better process, their two greatest impediments became extremely clear: (1) that they were promoting based on time in position  and (2) that they were using the archaic succession planning process that involves “forced ranking” on an outdated and ineffective set of criteria that was developed to position the most compliant of the bunch as the most qualified for the next level [and there was no next step in place to closeRead More

Simple Ways To Overcome Complacency in Retail

Simple Ways To Overcome Complacency in Retail A few days ago I wrote an article on Complacency In Retail, when I was writing it I actually didn’t expect it to get a lot of traction or attention. But after reading news story after news story last week about how broken and in peril retailers have become I definitely believe complacency to be a real issue – a self-inflicted issue by organizations – that some are failing to acknowledge. If WE want to succeed – WE have to change, WE have to adapt and be flexible to the changes the customer expects, WE have to identify and proactively react to reality of the obstacles we face, WE have to shape incredible experiences that deliverRead More

Simple Ways To Build A Great Retail Team

Simple Ways To Build A Great Retail Team Having the individual talent needed to drive results is the first step to delivering amazing team results. As a leader you have the ability to inspire, motivate and shape the group of smart, driven, customer-focused individuals through your leadership initiatives, your accessibility, your involvement, and your commitment to being a great business partner. Strong working relationships, collaboration, and contribution are things that great talent expects to find in their work culture and they value these qualities in their colleagues. Fostering this culture is something that needs your focused and committed leadership attention – to help support and guide them through any obstacles your individual team members or the collective team may encounter. Your team willRead More

Phenomenal Lessons I Have Learned From Great Retail Leaders

Phenomenal Lessons I Have Learned From Great Retail Leaders I have been in retail a long time and learned early on that focusing on my professional growth and development was a great way to stay personally and professionally challenged in our industry. I believe that, regardless of the experience we have, we can learn from everyone we work with – the good and the tragic. Here are some of the best qualities I have learned from some of the most incredible leaders I have worked for. Keep Your Promises And Commitments: Retail Business Leaders doing what they said they would and ‘walking the talk’ is not as common as you would think. I believe that all too often we use promises as theRead More

Complacency In Retail

Complacency In Retail Full Definition of complacency 1:  self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies 2:  an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction Retail Is In Danger There is no doubt about it – complacency is winning in the retail environment. In their efforts to propel action in these [rapidly] changing environments, many organizations grow frustrated as desired progress towards moving the business forward gets caught in bureaucracy, red tape, moldy policies, and the inability to identify the need to evolve by executive and senior level leadership. More than ever, leadership has become an exercise in survival of the fittest and as a consequence, retail leaders who have grown more complacent, are finding it difficult to maintain theirRead More

10 Qualities Of Amazing Retail Talent

10 Qualities Of Amazing Retail Talent In retail there are lots of average or “good enough” employees and some retailers are totally satisfied with that. However, it shouldn’t be the goal of organization to aspire to being passable or kind of okay.  There are some specific qualities that make for great employees in retail. People that stand out. Capture great assignments. Own and earn their professional growth. Here is what they look like: They Are Street Smart [Lots of Common Sense] & Resourceful: To great retail employees there is no such thing as an obstacle – smart retailers love challenges and will find the tools/information they need to drive their results. “I can’t because…” doesn’t exist in their vocabulary.  The best retail bestRead More

Why Do We Accept Results [From Ourselves] That Are “Okay” Instead Of Great?

Why Do We Accept Results [From Ourselves] That Are “Okay” Instead Of Great? Today’s world is moving at a pace that is sometimes challenging to keep up with. At work and at home, everything has to be done yesterday and in response we rush to produce reactionary work that results in output that is mediocre but, possibly, passable. The idea is that we don’t have the time, or more correctly, make the time, to stop and plan a little or even just think things through before jumping into a reactive response. This is an on-going challenge in the retail industry. The results is that we grow accustomed to accept that something is just or almost good enough – for now – and convinceRead More

Soft Skills Of Awesome Retail Leaders

Soft Skills Of Awesome Retail Leaders Retail is changing rapidly! Retail Leadership is constantly required to assess their impact and evolve and re-invent their leadership style/approach.  The compliance-managing, hard-driving skill set that many retailers had a tendency to value in the past won’t keep working in the future. Things are changing [for the better] inside the retail industry. Our employees have access to lots of information and can become extremely valuable brand advocates and ambassadors. Our customers are savvy and demand that we train, develop, and invest in our teams to deliver an amazing customer experience. There are even amazing programs like the RightSkill Program available for emerging retail talent to become strong self-directed learners and step into roles with the critical knowledgeRead More