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

Non-Negotiables of Retail Leadership

Non-Negotiables of Retail Leadership According to DDI, the leader who’s mastered having successful conversations is most likely to do well steering their team and/or their business. “By the end of each day, leaders likely have had multiple conversations with a range of their constituents,” DDI’s researchers write. “Each of these interactions will collectively determine their ultimate success as a leader.” [Source: Fast Company] “When 332,860 bosses, peers and subordinates were asked what leadership skills—regardless of level—were viewed as the most important attributes for a successful leader, the top skill named was the ability to inspire and motivate others.” [Source: SHRM] The Four Non-Negotiables Employees Have Of Their Leader -Ability To Inspire  -Ability to Motivate -Empathy -Involvement A true understanding of your team andRead More

The Importance of Career Path Planning In Retail

The Importance Of Career Path Planning in Retail “44% of employees say if they knew their career path with their current employer they would stay longer, without a doubt.” [Source: Mercer] I recently published an article on the Succession Planning Process in retail. How it is an invaluable tool that can help develop internal talent to fill critical roles in retail and keep pace with the growth and evolution of our industry. In retail we are frequently challenged for time and strangely, some of the most important actions for our business are put on the back burner in lieu of less important tasking. Formal training and development programs, performance development plans, and growth strategies are a few of these things that seem toRead More

Questions, Questions, and More Questions

 Questions, Questions, And More Questions -Do cats get scoliosis? -Why do lightbulbs burn out? -What are bricks made out of? -How do 2-way mirrors work? -What does the barometer reading mean? -How often do volcanoes explode? -How do batteries work? -How do airplanes fly? -Why do you listen to weird music? Yesterday was a snow day so my sons were home from school. The questions above were some of the questions I remember from yesterday…there were hundreds. Some I was able to answer, some I directed them to look up on the internet or in their books, some I was unable to answer but curious about as well so we “investigated” the answer together. It was a fun day of learning things thatRead More

Successful Retail Organizations Create Supportive Work Environments

Successful Retail Organizations Create Supportive Work Environments I read an interesting article from Skip Prichard – Leadership Insights titled, Detect and Root Out Behavior That Undermines Your Workplace. There were some very helpful thoughts on various ways workplaces set themselves up for unproductive behaviors and/or behaviors that undermine the organizational health and development including, being counterproductive to the organizations vision and values: (1) Sabotage By Meetings “Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.” –John Kenneth Galbraith -Ineffective meetings are productivity killers and according to Time Magazine, “Americans sit through some 11 million meetings every day — with the unproductive ones costing companies $37 billion a year.” -Without a plan and a resolution focus – useless meeting are damaging to theRead More

Learning To Love The Good, Bad, and Ugly Of Your Job

Learn To Love The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Your Job Happy New Year! I have a feeling 2016 is going to be an amazing year for our retail industry. Lots of change (which I love) and lots of growth. As I was desperate trying to go back to sleep this morning at 5:00am (my boys wake up sooooo early!), I was thinking about having to step out into the job search market on Monday (Here is my shameless plug link) and kind of talking through the description of my roles, companies, and experiences in my head as practice. The title of this post is a little misleading…of course you’re going to love the good. That’s what we all hope for, right? IfRead More

Recruiting Top Talent

Recruiting Top Talent In 2016 There are 5 type of “candidates” in the recruitment market: 1. Active Seekers 2. Semi-active Seekers 3. Passive 4. Happy with their current situation 5. Boomerang (employees that have left the company but are willing to return) Recruitment and Employee Advocates As we all know recruiting is the best method to hiring talent that has a higher potential of fit for both the role and the company culture. Recruiting also is an area that, I have found, requires a lot of training and development, especially at the store level. In my post Fostering a Culture of Employee Advocacy In Retail I shared the fact that “93% of employees say they will make good advocates for the brand”. ThatRead More

Key Focus Items 2016

#Retail Leadership: Key Focus Items 2016 I have said it before and I will say it again – there is so much amazing information at our fingertips that it is totally criminal if we don’t put a plan into place to focus on topics that can improve, support, and boost growth of our team members and a continued healthy and happy workplace culture. Recently, there was a great article posted on TLNT written by Cynthia A. Hedricks on, The 8 Things That References Say Candidates Need To Improve On. Here are the highlights: -Being more sociable -Asking for help -Showing patience with others -Better team orientation -Listening carefully -Being open to the ideas and opinions of others -Sharing information with others -Building relationshipsRead More

Retail Competency: Ability To Self-Motivate

#Retail Competency: Ability To Self-Motivate I am pathologically self-motivated. I always have been. I graduated high-school one month after turning 16 because I was desperate to move on from traditional learning methods. I was hungry to see what was next. When first started in retail when I was 18 years old and was insanely motivated (and I worked with an amazing leadership team who saw how committed I was), I worked hard and crushed my job description and asked for additional responsibilities and within six months was promoted to a District Manager. Since then (over the course of many, many…many years) I have accomplished a lot in retail. I have learned a lot. I have continued to work on upskilling, learning, stretching toRead More

Retail Career Obstacle: Gossiping

Retail Career (Killer) Obstacle: Gossiping With the New Year quickly approaching I thought I would cover some topics that are opportunities in retail as professional resolutions for 2016. The first topics I have written about are Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness; Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop; Retail Career Obstacle: Excessively Ambitious and Arrogant; Retail Career Obstacle: Inabiity To Think Strategically; and Retail Career Obstacle: Cannot Build An Effective Team. Now I want to cover another growth hurdle I have seen during my career in retail: Gossiping. Retail has lots of “yentas”…and in retail gossiping is an equal opportunity sport. According to Susan Ricker, “Nearly half of employers say they would think twice before moving an employee who participates in office gossip up theRead More

Retail Career Obstacle: Cannot Build An Effective Team

#Retail Career Obstacle: Cannot Build An Effective Team On my list of Top 3 disheartening phrases I heard last week was “I just need to hire some bodies”. These words are the kiss of death for a store’s productivity and profitability. I have previously referenced a quote by Eric Ryan that I think is fabulous “Mediocre hires are like empty calories. They make you bigger, but less healthy.” This is incredibly true of field teams and something that I am constantly managing with my Store Managers when I am in the field. I have implemented Stay Interviews in our business to be able to identify common areas of opportunity on teams through feedback and dialogue with each and every team member in eachRead More

How To Have “Happy Holidays” In Retail

How To Have Happy Holidays In #Retail This is “go time” in Retail and it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. The pace increases, daily sales increase, foot traffic increases, you have seasonal team members to infuse some new perspectives and excitement into the business! If the Store Managers in the field are truly behind the metrics – hourly reads are taken and shared with the team and everyone in the store is aligned with crushing plans and LY’s! It can be seriously exhilarating! In order to have a truly smooth and productive holiday season though, there needs to be a partnership between the field and corporate teams. I have been involved holiday seasons that were flawless and holiday seasonsRead More

How To Set Your Retail Team Up For Success in 2016

How To Set Your #Retail Team Up For Success In 2016 As I am typing this post we are only 42 days from celebrating the New Year. If you read the business section of any (reputable) news website or read any online retail industry publications, such as Retailing Today and Retail Industry News @ About, there is already speculation around how the retail landscape will change in 2016. Times can be challenging in retail but if you focus your area of responsibility at work on what you can do to deliver a positive, happy, productive, collaborative and profitable contribution to your business. We know what employees want to be productive and happy at work: -Honest and Transparent Communication -Meaningful Workplace Relationships -Work/Life BalanceRead More

Retail Career Obstacle: Inability To Think Strategically

#Retail Career Obstacle: Inability To Think Strategically With the New Year quickly approaching I thought I would cover some topics that are opportunities in retail as professional resolutions for 2016. The first topics I have written about are #Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness, #Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop,and #Retail Career Obstacle: Excessively Ambitious and Arrogant. Now I want to cover another growth hurdle I have seen during my career in retail: Inability To Think Strategically The nature of retail today demands that we are constantly assessing our priorities and processes and reacting to the changing pace of our retail environment. Strategy can take us from reactive to proactive in most cases. Merriam-Webster defines strategy as (a) a careful plan or method for achievingRead More

Retail Career Obstacle: Excessively Ambitious and Arrogant

Retail Career Obstacle: Excessively Ambitious And Arrogant With the New Year quickly approaching I thought I would cover some topics that are opportunities in retail as professional resolutions for 2016. The first topics I have written about are #Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness and #Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop. Now I want to cover another growth hurdle I have seen during my career in retail: Excessively Ambitious And Arrogant. We have all experienced the office or field blowhard. A colleague, past or present, that constantly talks about how smart, what a savvy leader they are, how amazing they are but cannot produce real results to save their lives? We have all come across this person, probably more than one, in our careers. TheyRead More