Developing Managerial Courage In Retail Leaders

Developing Managerial Courage In Retail Leaders As I mentioned in my last post, it has been a wildly busy several weeks. I am currently working on an amazing project with a company that is extremely challenged with their Store Leader level of employee. The company I am currently supporting does not invest in their people. Store leaders are selected using an outdated set of criteria – with the most important and valued “skill” that their store leaders can possess is [wait for it…] compliance. Very rarely am I working with an organization that is extremely healthy – sometimes it happens [but not very often] – in the case of this project, the company is struggling. It is struggling with its organizational culture, employeeRead More

Toxic Retail Leadership

Toxic Retail Leadership When I created this headline I, initially, typed “Poor Retail Leadership” – but using the word “poor” brings up the idea that the leader may be okay – perhaps just not very strong. What I want to write about today is the truly bad and toxic leader and how they interfere with the growth, development, and retention of truly remarkable team members. We are witnessing the rise of toxic leaders in the retail workplace. There is so much pressure to deliver, execute, and comply in retail today that many leaders choose to lead through fear and intimidation as opposed to behaving as a supportive and inspiring business partner to their team. Someone that is committed to hiring great talent andRead More

Retail Leadership: Challenging Boss Relationships

Retail Leadership: Challenging Boss Relationships I have had quite a few emails over the past few days regarding my post “8 Reasons Retail Employees Dislike Their Boss“, so many readers had LOTS to add to the list I outlined and I am looking forward to writing about those in a new post based on the feedback I received. However,  I received a handful of messages around the topic of how to handle it when your boss clearly dislikes you so I thought I would tackle that topic since it is unique and something that I haven’t spent too much time writing about. Retail Leaders Role In the Employee Relationship I am a firm believer that as Retail Leaders we should always lead withRead 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

Strategies For Handling Lying In The Retail Workplace

Strategies For Handling Lying In The Retail Workplace Most people lie. It just is a fact. A depressing fact. We working in an industry where hidden agendas, covering up errors, assigning blame, and outright lying is an unfortunate daily activity –  throughout the the entire hierarchical structure of the retail organization. According to Pamela Meyer, CEO of Calibrate, “Two-year-olds bluff. Five-year-olds lie outright. They manipulate via flattery. Nine-year-olds, masters of the cover-up. By the time you enter college, you’re going to lie to your mom in one out of every five interactions. By the time we enter this work world and we’re breadwinners, we enter a world that is just cluttered with a deception epidemic — in short, what one author calls aRead More

Bad Days In Retail And How To Minimize Them

Bad Days In Retail And How To Minimize Them As I was writing the article “Retail Productivity & Morale Killers“, my objective was to – in that same article – provide some ideas on how to turn challenging cultures around and deliver a greater level of happiness to your team when morale starts to erode or your team hits a rough patch in their path to deliver excellence. Turned out there was too much to write about with JUST the causes for the issues so I thought I would dedicate another post to this topic and share some statistics and ideas on how to minimize this productivity killer. As a senior level retail leader I force myself, though I may want to denyRead More

Retail Productivity & Morale Killers

Retail Productivity & Morale Killers The other day I wrote about Retail Leadership Credibility Killers, these were specific unfortunate things that retail leaders do that erodes their ability to earn and/or maintain trustworthiness and credibility with their colleagues.  One of my favorite and most rewarding parts of this blog is receiving messages and emails from incredible retail leaders with comments or questions that spark an engaging dialog. One of these conversations around the credibility killers got me thinking about other behaviors we exhibit or choices that we make that not only reflect poorly on our leadership brand but that can really injure the culture of the business. Common Issues That Hurt Morale & Productivity In Retail Lack of training & development opportunities ChaoticRead More

Treating Retail Employees Like Volunteers

Treating Retail Employees Like Volunteers “Engagement is a renewable daily decision that is voluntarily given when the company has proven worthy of it.” –Jason Lauritsen, Talent Anarchy Every month my nine year old son and I volunteer at a local shelter to serve lunch to the homeless. Originally this started out as a lesson to my son to appreciate the things he has but it has morphed into something we genuinely enjoy doing. It’s such a great experience because the kitchen team let’s me fix the gigantic salads – which I love doing – and working the window because I get to interact with the regulars who we have come to know. Initially my son was in charge of handing out milk butRead More

Warning Signs Of A Poor Retail Culture

Warning Signs Of A Poor Retail Culture When we are active [or even passive] job seekers, we conduct a lot of research on retailers and identify organizations we would be really thrilled and proud to work for/with and those that we wouldn’t consider in a million years. As I mentioned in a previous post, “20 years ago, it was absolutely possible for organizations to create an image that was manufactured by the marketing departments, but now…everyone has a say [and super fast, too]. Retailers are no longer what they say they are but what others say they are.” This has become so absolutely true. People gladly share their experiences and stories about the retail brands they are familiar with either through employment orRead More

Bringing Out The Best In Our Retail Teams

Bringing Out The Best In Our Retail Teams When it comes to hiring talent, there are two elemental strategies that work. The first is to hire the very best talent on the market; the second is to hire decent talent and help support them by bringing out the best in them. Since most retail organization are unwilling to make the investment in recruiting and retaining the top tier of talent, most of us have to go with door number two. As retail leaders we enjoy taking control of the room and leading our team. However, that doesn’t help support the growth and development of the talent that we work with. As a retail leader you’re intelligent. But your job is not to beRead More

Company Values, Done Right, Help To Drive Retail Engagement

Company Values, Done Right, Help To Drive Retail Engagement I write (and talk) a lot about company values and hiring people who share and are aligned with most, if not all, of the company values. I have only worked in three companies that spoke about their values. One of them was Disneyland and one of them was my own seasonal pop-up business. These values, combined with a compelling and energizing Mission Statement, were the driving force of the workplace cultures, delivering an exceptional customer experience, and fostering amazing workplace relationships. When you hire people in who share values on a personal level with the company, you create a foundation of understanding with which to shape other guiding principles and business practices. “The voiceRead More

Involvement In The Retail Workplace

Involvement In The Retail Workplace TinyPulse asked the question – “On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your ability to make an impact here vs. at a prior employer?” The industries with the happiest employees gave a score of 8.15. The industries with the unhappiest employees gave an average score of 6.95. Then they asked, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much opportunity do you have for professional growth in this organization?” The happiest industry employees gave this question an average score of 7.12 for their current company. The unhappiest industries assigned this question an average score of 6.15. Finally, “On a scale of 1 to 10, do you feel like you’ll have the opportunity to reach your fullRead More

Be Happy! To Be Successful And Productive In Retail

Be Happy! To Be Successful And Productive In Retail Shawn Anchor, author of “The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work“, gave an incredible Ted Talk in 2011, “The Happy Secret To Better Work”: Shawn Anchor is a great presenter and delivers a truly compelling reason why we need to focus on our happiness and happy things in order to be successful and productive in the workplace. This psychology philosophy is directly counter with what we typically believe and what we are fed, daily, in life. If you don’t have time to watch the presentation – here are some of my favorite parts: If I asked a question like, “How fast can a child learnRead More

The Social Exchange Theory In Retail

The Social Exchange Theory In Retail Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with some awesome “emerging adults” about the retail industry – how it is evolving and the incredible opportunities that exist within it. It was a great time and the group was extremely smart and engaged in the topic as 52% of them were currently working in an entry level position in retail. My 60 minute presentation ended up being an almost 120 minute presentation with the Q&A portion. There were so many great questions and lively dialogs, I left them with my contact information. Over the last several days I received some great texts and IM’s from the attendees…most of them about the social exchange theory that I brieflyRead More

How To Support A Collaborative Retail Team

How To Support A Collaborative Retail Team For the past three months I have been very involved in some really exciting retail consulting projects. This is a unique experience because I am learning a lot and getting to experience and identify collaborative efforts and that tools that work and some practices that do not. Two of my projects are very easy and the programs we are working through are areas that we are very much aligned and things that I am extremely familiar with. The third project is a little more complex for a few reasons, (1) There are more people involved [13 of us], (2) Our priorities/passions are not aligned, (3) We are functioning in our own silos. This project has ledRead More