Leadership & Brand Transparency

Recently, I’ve come across two profoundly interesting workplace culture and questionable leadership examples of how social media is forcing organizational transparency and working to shift the balance of power a tiny bit more in a candidate’s/employee’s favor. There is a lot of fear around speaking the truth and spotlighting the bad behavior or clearly poor executive decisions that most of us have encountered and witnessed in a lot of workplaces – regardless of industry. But there are some brave “voices” that are no longer willing to tolerate the despotic and gnarly culture too many organizations and “executives” dole out and that the masses passively accept. A Bold & Fearless LinkedIn Post Two weeks ago I was scrolling through my LinkedIn feed and cameRead More

Hooray For Curious Minds

Hooray For Curious Minds! If you’re anything like me, you were glued to the Michael Cohen congressional hearing on Wednesday. It was fascinating and salacious. It was both the most interesting and worst of today’s politics. One thing really stood out to me and it was that there were stories and situations that Mr. Cohen offered to the committee that absolutely begged for follow up questions but those questions were never asked by most of the congressional representatives. This lack of curiosity is fascinating to me and it absolutely made me recollect a few experiences I have had surfacing or escalating questionable or outright diabolical people, behavior, and/or practices to various corporate bodies and it has – essentially – fallen on deaf, disinterestedRead More

Traits of Unique & Fabulous People

Traits of Unique & Fabulous People I have always been an advocate of inviting unique personalities into the workplace. I love rebels and legitimately creative [even disruptive] individuals. I love ambition, transparency, integrity, and humor [unfortunately, these are very unique traits in most workplaces]. I love people who are authentic and honest human beings with passion, enthusiasm, and honorable intentions. I love people that are a little quirky and who go out of their way not to be like everyone else. Most of these qualities are not something that the average organizations seeks to find in candidates. And when these traits present in a new person, the organizational culture usually tries to squash them and, instead, encourage conformity by talking about “fit”. ThereRead More

Professional Pedigree

Professional Pedigree A few months ago I had an interesting experience with an organization who’d reached out to me for a role that was extremely exciting. I was then eliminated because my professional pedigree was – apparently – too akin to that of the backwoods locals in the movie Deliverance to be a fit for their brand. I wish I could say I stoically digested that feedback and haven’t obsessed about why I was contacted and presented as a candidate if pedigree was the singular criteria that identified the “winner” of that job opportunity. So, as things usually do for me, this kooky obsession has led to some research and big questions as to why organizations still don’t truly understand exactly who theyRead More

Ambition…It’s A Good Thing

It is undeniable that most successful people are ambitious. Those of us who dream of more need to be intrinsically motivated to reach for more – whatever that “more” is. It is THAT intrinsic motivation that propels us to try harder, work harder, and press on after experiencing setbacks. Ambition is a great trait. It’s one of those things – along with humor, authenticity, and integrity – that I look for when aligning myself with people, both personally and professionally. It always strikes me as odd when people are offended by or frightened by this trait. People who are self-motivated are few and far between and they are highly-valuable. Some people have a spark and a drive to achieve but that doesn’t meanRead More

Genuinely Fabulous Leaders Are Humble Leaders

Genuinely Fabulous Leaders Are Humble Leaders A ProSocial & Collaborative Leadership Quality A few weeks ago I shared a story about an interaction with a VP of Strategic Planning that was so profoundly bizarre and unpleasant it has consistently popped into my mind as it relates to how toxic that person’s leadership style must be with their team and how damaging they are to the culture of their company. In my first and only meeting with this person they spent 18 of our 25 minutes together detailing how important and revered they are and have been in all of their roles. It was an introduction I have never heard the like of before – it was filled with hubris and a flagrant disinterestRead More

Use Common Sense & Be A Kind Person

Use Common Sense & Be A Kind Person It continues to be evident as I work with so many diverse and unique people/groups that far too many issues of miscommunication start with all the labels we assign and adopt for ourselves. We label what kind of leader we are. We label what kind of learner we are. We label what kind of parent we are. We label what kind of shopper we are. We have a harmful obsession with labeling ourselves with nicely packaged ideas of what and who we are. We assign labels for ourselves so that others can understand the fundamentals of our behavior. Why is it that in contemporary culture, we appear to have such a strong desire to dissectRead More

Emotional Terrorists In The Workplace

Emotional Terrorists are everywhere in the workplace. There is no hierarchy to emotional terrorism – although most of us have worked with/for a boss that wields their authority in a not-so-nice way. A manager can be a jerk to their colleagues or their people and a subordinate can be a bully to peers as well as upward to organizational leadership and business partners. Regardless of the position they hold, they inflict a tremendous amount of damage and chaos into the environment and hurt the brand – usually on a large scale. The good news, though…surviving these emotional terrorists is a craft, not a science. People are either good or bad at it. If they are bad at dealing with these toxic people, theyRead More

I Declined An Offer For My Dream Job. Here’s Why…

I Declined An Offer For My Dream Job. Here’s Why… In early Fall 2018 I was contacted by Dyson – a company that I – as a consumer – loved. The role they were seeking to fill was fabulous and I was really excited, energized, and flattered that they contacted me to discuss this opportunity. The role had been vacant for eight months and according to the executives in the organization, the field was struggling with selling and product knowledge – especially to consumers falling outside the economic description of a “deep-resource” customer. After speaking with nine people over the course of approximately five weeks, I knew I could help elevate engagement through learning & development, retention, and customer experience. However, there wereRead More

A Start-Up Culture? Really?

A Start-Up Culture? Really? In the last few months, I have had the unique and fabulous opportunity to visit a number of different workplaces [retail, direct selling, tech, restaurant, wholesale, etc.] to meet and have dialogs with various CEO’s, COO’s, and CMO’s around their vision, values, and workplace cultures. In this period of time, I have learned invaluable lessons on leadership, strategy, and galvanizing communication. I have captured great thoughts on how to stay ahead of the evolution present in most industries. Adopted ideas on how to make initiatives and adaptations sticky and meaningful for the people in the organization. It’s really been an exciting and energizing three months. Conversely, there is a disturbing trend happening in a lot of workplaces that lackRead More

Stop Tolerating Mediocrity Already

Stop Tolerating Mediocrity Already Frequently, when I meet with an organization for dialogs around a consulting project I assess a few things before either accepting or declining the adventure. One of the things I assess is – if recognition [especially around top performance] is or is not a priority with the organization or if they aren’t open to treating their top performers with special considerations…I won’t accept the project. Great people with great attitudes who are highly-productive in the workplace are few and far between. If an organization has a cavalier attitude towards recognition, reward, and/or results there isn’t a lot I can help them with. They will lose their top talent, ultimately, and fade away from relevance in today’s world. A fewRead More

Mature Talent Strategies

Why Mature Talent Strategies Are Necessary Organizations with the most mature talent acquisition functions perform 30% better on business outcomes and are 160% more likely to achieve higher recruiting performance results than organizations with primarily reactive recruiting processes, according to Robin Erickson, vice president and talent acquisition research leader at Bersin by Deloitte. Bersin by Deloitte found that companies with high-maturity talent acquisition functions exhibit 18% higher revenue and 30% greater profitability compared to companies with low-maturity talent acquisition performance. These numbers are real and true reflections of organizations that are investing in a mature and appropriate talent strategy for their business. So, why is it that so many organizations treat their talent acquisition program and candidates so capriciously? Talent acquisition is aRead More

Supporting Creatives In The Workplace

Supporting Creatives In The Workplace The creative genius is “both more primitive and more cultured, more destructive and more constructive, occasionally crazier and yet adamantly saner, than the average person.” – Frank X. Barron As a Learning & Development leader, I am frequently asked how I am able to cater to the various learning styles of people. When I ask the person who surfaced the question to clarify – they usually mean the VARK system of learning. VARK stands for “Visual, Auditory, Reading, and Kinesthetic”. This system is thought to have had something to do with the self-esteem movement of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. So lots of people have clung to their original assignment that they are a certain type ofRead More

This Is My 300th Blog Post

#300 938 days ago, I started the Excellence In Retail Blog. I launched this knowing that I had something to say but I was not sure or confident how to say it. But there I was with a website and some ideas so…I just…started. This morning I wrote my 299th blog post. I didn’t realize that I was so close to hitting this milestone until a few weeks ago when I actually looked at my post count. At that time I set a personal goal to hit 300 by the end of July. As I stretched for this goal, I was determined to keep writing content that I thought was relevant and important [not just to write fluff to get there], as wellRead More

Teaching People How To Treat You

Teaching People How To Treat You About three months ago I was consulting with a retail organization and the VP of Stores asked me to visit with him. He wasn’t a person I was directly working with on that project so it was a little unusual but he explained to me that they’d recently promoted two people to District Manager level roles who were having a difficult time assimilating into their new position with their teams. He asked me if I could spend two days with these two new DM’s to identify the issue(s) they were having and give them some guidance. “Yay!”, I said. I missed being in the field, with customers and the hard working people who drive the business. SoRead More