Intentional Excellence In Retail

Intentional Excellence In Retail

As a retail leader I have very little tolerance for mediocrity. I have a firm belief that people deliver the results they choose to deliver. Excellence is a deliberate result – not luck or accidental. If you want to be successful – make a decision and develop a plan to be successful. If you want to be a failure – you make excuses and play the victim and you make a choice to not succeed. It really is that simple. However, as an involved leader, I need to be able to identify the team members that work inside my area of responsibility that have the ability [and latent talents] to be excellent and help them realize what they are capable of. I also have the responsibility to identify the “can’t do” and the “won’t do” team members and support the “can’t do” with development and encouragement.

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It is a huge leadership responsibility to set expectations for our teams using the vision and values of the organization and our own professional team vision and values that we create, collectively – and to show our commitment to those expectations on a daily basis. I suspect there aren’t any team members on teams lead by great retail leadership who doubt our daily commitment to – and passion for – the organization or to our own development and success. We absolutely expect the same from each and every team member who joins our organization – especially those that work on our team.

When assessing employees, you need to see “commitment” through their actions and not just hear a bunch of words about how great they want to be and what they want to accomplish. Talk doesn’t get the job done. Action, focus, and delivering greatness by design does. As any strong retail leader and their awesome team can tell you – great leadership and talent development is invaluable to one’s career trajectory. Excellent retail leaders motivate their team members to always find a way to deliver – as well as model the behaviors that inspire a passion for success.  These are some of those behaviors:

  • Eliminate Any & All Alternatives: Failure is not an option. Excuses are not tolerated because your team has committed to excellence and finding a way to win and will overcome each obstacles and every objective. We learn from our mistakes along the way. We take risks. We embrace innovation. We have a bias towards action and we will win.
  • Don’t Compare Your Team To Others: The moment you start to make comparisons you waste valuable time and lose focus. Excellence delivers consistent improvement over their own performance weekly.
  • Make A Commitment & Take Massive Action: Make a decision to be successful and stick with it. Quit wondering about the “what if’s” and commit to your direction with passion and enthusiasm.

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10 Characteristics That Show Your Commitment To Retail Excellence

  • Be Present: When you are in – you’re all in. There’s no second direction for people who commit to delivering excellence. Without excuse, they will find a way to be great.
  • Be Prepared & Proactive: Retail team members who are committed to deliver excellence are both agile and adaptable. Retail is challenging and evolving – almost on a daily basis – so the ability to be flexible and innovative will support your efforts to bring great results to your colleagues and the organization.

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  • Favor Quality Over Quantity: Anyone can produce a lot of mediocre work. But work that is thorough, accurate, and well-executed sets the remarkable apart from average. Emails are well constructed and grammatically correct. Phone conversations are clear and concise as they relate to business. Projects are planned. executed, and inspected for accuracy. Multi-tasking is a necessary skill in retail – at times – but not to the detriment of quality of work or decisions.
  • Confidence: Remarkable retailers are humble but confident. They understand that they are part of collective team and greatness is achieved when people and their actions are aligned. Committed and focused retail team members know that they can articulate their purpose and compelling reason to achieve success.
  • Display Tremendous Integrity: Excellent retailers make a commitment and honor their word. They own up to errors, they accept blame, and they share and proactively recognize success when others are involved. A committed truth-teller is a sign of exceptional retail team members. These people don’t have hidden agendas – they are honest and forthcoming in everything they do. Do they want to grow in their role – heck yes – but they won’t step on others to further their professional agenda.
  • They Are Authentically Unique: Much like great retail leaders don’t compare their performance to others they also don’t try to mimic anyone else’s style or professional brand. People who are passionate about delivering greatness do it their way. They are innovative, creative, and determined and uniquely… themselves.
  • Live To Learn: Great retailers are fanatical about their professional development. They are ruthless about becoming masters of topics, actions, and operations they need to know to be successful. They, also, typically level-up – which means they understand and model the competencies, behaviors, and responsibilities of the next level of leadership consistently.

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  • Practice Respect, Kindness & Empathy: Being a kind person and a considerate leader sets so many great retail team members apart from their average counterparts.
  • Be A Mentor, A Business Partner, An Enthusiastic Collaborator: These people help their colleagues and partner stores when possible. They support initiatives outside of their job description but that are important to the business because they are invested in organization’s success.


Founder and Editor in Chief of Excellence In Retail. Published writer. Frequent Podcast Guest. Speaker. Twenty year [oy vey!] retailer. I am passionate about leadership development and workplace culture. 646 246 1380 | [No Sales Contact, please} But it you want to call just to say hello or have a question - that's awesome!

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One thought on “Intentional Excellence In Retail

  1. Hi Beth, Great article once again. Some great points to take away that I can translate into our own area of work. Could you please contact me on – I am interested in perhaps exchanging guest posts for our websites.


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