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

15 Traits of A “Terrible” Retail Leader

15 Traits of A “Terrible” Retail Leader According to Monster – 38% of employees rate their leader as “horrible” – In the past week I have referenced this statistic three times, that is how important and valuable I think it is to recognize – and for those of us who are lucky enough to be leaders in our industry –  to marinade in and digest. It is also likely to be what is the reality for us, as “Retail Leaders”. Success surveyed members of the Young Entrepreneurs Council to identify what qualities make for a terrible leader. Here was their response: Lack of Transparency: Your team can tell when you are not being honest. Lack of transparency = Lack of Trust. There isRead 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 To Be An Influencer In The Retail Workplace

How To Be An Influencer In The Retail Workplace This weekend I am taking my children on a quick vacation for my oldest’s 9th birthday. It’s going to be a exciting and fun long weekend for them, but I did buy tickets for us to see the Van Gogh Bedroom’s Exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago on Saturday. Now, if I blurted out to my boys we were heading to an art museum for a few hours of the vacation they would moan and grumble about it. So, for the past two weeks I have been using influence to share the benefits and history of seeing this amazing exhibit and drawing on our past experiences seeing the works of Van Gogh andRead More

Invested, Involved, And Interested Retail Leadership Is Important – Here’s Why…

Invested, Involved, And Interested Retail Leadership Is Important – Here’s Why… Strategy Executive Company Root conducted a survey of workplace employees and found some pretty shocking perceptions that employee have of their organizations leaders: Many workers seem to doubt the ability of leaders to make workplaces run smoothly, drive accountability, and inspire risk-taking. 43% of employees believe that individual employees, not leaders, have the biggest impact on a company’s culture; This disconnect between employees and leadership might be because 68% of workers feel that most of their company’s leaders are better at their own jobs than inspiring others to excel; Only 22% of workers feel that upper management truly has the best interests of most of their employees at heart; Only 48% ofRead 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

How Great Retail Leaders Motivate

Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman wrote “The Extraordinary Leader,” they discovered that there were five “fatal flaws” that leaders must avoid or change in their behavior and attitude in order to be approachable and effective in their role with their team: Inability to learn from mistakes Lack of core interpersonal skills and competencies Lack of openness to new or different ideas Lack of accountability and excessive defensiveness and Lack of initiative. None of these are surprising. When leaders are defensive and don’t behave in a responsible [or adult] way – it is a huge turn off to their team members. There is no respect, no trust, and absolutely no way your team will be open enough to learn anything from you. We 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

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