It’s tough being a leader! No doubt about that, particularly in retail where things move fast, staffing is tight and sales are tough to come by. Yet, I believe, it’s one of the most rewarding roles when you achieve success, which is generally always achieved through your people.
Unfortunately, most leaders have little training on how to get the most out of their team. Here are five key behaviours that awesome leaders demonstrate on a daily basis:
1) They have moved from being an individual contributor to a leader. I often find that a majority of leaders have been extremely successful team members, great at customer service, selling and other individual tasks. However moving into a leadership role not only requires the leader to be a great role model, they have to get the best out of their team while not doing everything themselves. Training, coaching, empowering, motivating and ongoing follow up are the key skills leaders need to demonstrate to get the best out of their people.
2) Great leaders set clear expectations and let their people have a go. I have mentioned this before, if leaders micro-manage their team, they will severely inhibit their creativity as well as lose trust. Leaders must learn to delegate well so they can focus on the bigger picture and not get bogged down in the detail. One of the biggest challenges I help leaders overcome is the skill of delegation. Unfortunately most still think that only they can do the task the right way and it’s quicker to do it myself. Great leaders have got over themselves on these two points.
3) They encourage their team to challenge them. Great leaders know they don’t have all the answers, nor do they need to. They challenge their team to take more ownership and come up with better ways to do things. Leaders don’t always make the right decisions and it’s ok to be wrong, in fact it shows you are human and open to admitting when things go wrong.
4) Great leaders don’t hesitate in providing both positive and negative consequences when required. The best leaders recognise that people respond well to positive feedback and provide this frequently to encourage their team to keep up the good behaviours they are displaying. They also recognise that sometimes they have to deliver the not so good feedback, yet they don’t put this off as they know poor performance will only get worse if not dealt with. This balanced feedback is great for all team members as it shows consistency and people know where they stand.
5) Exceptional leaders know how to get the best out of each individual. Through individual discussions, leaders find out what makes each individual tick as well as finding out their own personal goals and aspirations. They then use this information to help align and connect each team member’s personal goals with the company’s goals. They identify each team member’s strengths and weaknesses and challenge them to learn, improve and grow.
Leadership is tough and does require hard work, there’s ups and downs when you lead a team of people. However, great leaders are thin on the ground and the future for successful retailers.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.