I’ve been reading Seth Godin‘s Tribes. It’s a constant loop of similar messages over and over, told in many different ways. That’s not a criticism. In fact, it’s empowering and drives self-empowerment.
Tribes will feed every unhappy employee’s psyche and have them asking themselves, “Why can’t I work for a leader.” It will feed every manager or director’s psyche and have them asking, “What can I do to be a better leader”?
But leaders of tribes are few and far between in retail. It’s more likely a retail manager is:
A knee-jerk reactor.
And often it’s not their fault. Retail seems to be one of those industries where most believe that you
lay out the rules, then catch people when they don’t follow them and
say, “I told you so.” That’s no way to run a business.
What type of a manager are you?
People want to work for a manager who leads them, not directs them. The very term director is a horrible title simply because of the implication of what the job is. To direct: To tell what to do. To control. To direct someone is not leading.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
You have to operate one level up to inspire retail teams to be more than just warm bodies, more than just followers. Here’s how:
Communicate – information is not power. Hoarding information is not productive. Share with your team. Share the good and the bad. People just want honesty. They can handle it. Really, they can.
Delegate – don’t do it all. Or try to. You’re reducing you staff to automaton status by doing so. They’re bright, eager beavers ready to work and be successful. If you let them. Most retail employees quit because they’re not happy with their boss.
Be receptive – others have ideas. Don’t kill their spirit by shooting down their ideas. You have to allow employees to fail in order to get better.
Don’t be a “butt-er” – But means no. Yet we all say it. All the time. Eliminate the word but from your vocabulary. Just try it. I dare you. It will instantly transform how you phrase things to your employees (you’ll realize how much you really do say no).
So what kind of manager are you going to be?
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