In this episode Alice and Brennan discuss the REAL SKILLS that retail leaders utilize daily in their role.
In this episode Alice and Brennan discuss the REAL SKILLS that retail leaders utilize daily in their role.
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retail is crazy. Your leadership doesn't have to be. This'll is crazy f in retail with Brennan and Alice. Welcome to another episode of Crazy fuckin retail. The podcast with Alice and I tonight. I'm so excited to share this article with you. It's called Let's stop calling them Soft Skills by Seth Godin will link the article in the notes, but you can't miss this episode. So, Alice, what do you got for us tonight?
Um, you know, when you originally sent me this article, I was reading it, and I didn't realize that the seminar that I participated in January is this article right here and it makes me feel really, really good. But we could share this with our listener stuff. Let's go to jump right in. So the first sentence it states are you good at your job? So when I've taken it to retail perspectives mo three tellers or any company, we really gear somebody's performance off of a measurable Messick. Whether it's, you know, sales conversion, average dollar transaction or harmony, loyalty, rewards or credit card transactions. But, you know, we've gotten so accustomed to holding our employees so that expectation So in this article. It talks about type ob. Just gonna be blamed. The honest with you, I don't know who he is. I'm not a big baseball fan, but for baseball fans out there, I think something you could relate to. But it talks about how Ty Cobb wasn't absolute jerk. His teammates didn't like a medal, but he still end up on the Hall of Fame because of his performance. And that kind of goes hand in hand with retail. You know, Brian, you and I both work at a retailer as well, and we've grown up to making sure you hit sales. Making sure you convert you have a year over year comp increase. Make sure your loyalty is on point. Make sure you're beating last year's results in a certain KP. I would just keep performance indicators, and we've gotten so accustomed to that. But I think even as a leader myself, we hold our readers and our subordinates accountable to a result. Do you see that as well in your market as well?
I mean, Alice, just spot on. I absolutely see these in the markets. I mean, you and I both come up in retail. I've been doing this for 16 years, and we rank everything we possibly can and we measure success or failure. Sometimes we measure success or failure based on those ranks. Now, what's really interesting about this article to me and what I want to call out before we dive in? Because I gotta I gotta have a disclaimer here. I do think that metrics are 100% important, and you have to make sure that the business is is being driven right or the sales are being driven. So every organization has different metrics that they track, but there are important. So what the article says is that they call the others right to salt what we traditionally traditionally called them soft skills. The article Seth calls them real skills, and he also says that the other stuff is still important. But the real skills make people that much better. Did you get that part, Ellis?
So you and I both grew up in this retail world. You said you're, you know, in retail for 15 16 years, so I buy. So I grew up with these two terms. Heart skills versus soft skills. Hard skills are usually defined as that result with sales and on key performance indicator, key performance indicators and making sure that we're always doing better. So I understand that we call it a heart skill. But that is just what were hired to d'oh. That's the expectation. So I know in this article they talked about the baseline, the heart skill, a k a sales or any other results. That is a baseline soft skills that we've talked about in the past. And what we've been grown, you know, is really been embedded in our head. Is those interpersonal skills? But I didn't realize that it made me feel bad when somebody pointed out that man we call that soft skills. Why So even though I did the real skill seminar, I'm just kind of like, man, I still called it soft. It's not a soft gil. It's a real skill that is definitely needed toe elevate you from just the baseline and be consistent in those results that are expected of us.
Yeah, and I would say that I love this line in the article that kind of when you really dive in, you start thinking Okay, well, soft, soft skills or real skills, Whatever you want to call them? They sound great, right? And as you read the article, it gives you what three or four pages of these real skills those all sound great. I think where the challenge comes in for organizations is the as a scale and grow and get bigger and bigger and hundreds and hundreds of locations right from state to state. How do you measure success or failure as you grow? And that's where I think that managers and leaders are so critical to the organization. Managers and leaders ability to measure this and see, identify what real skills are, celebrate and coach them in company as complementary to the metrics that we track. That's what makes you great. So first of all, I'm going to call it the sentence. It says Culture defeats strategy every time. And when you focus on the real skills piece, a lot of those come back to building a culture. You know, I think what I've always thought about is, if we didn't measure sales, if we didn't measure anything, would they be successful? So yes, the metrics that we have the ranks that we do. I mean, I love him, but When you look at someone, I think we've all seen it. We've had that store or you've had that person that's ultra successful from a metric or k p. I keep performance indicators standpoint, but if you took those away, would they be successful? And then how do you coach, You know, the challenge becomes, How do you coach the importance of real skills as a balance and being complimentary? Does that make sense?
It sure does. You know what's crazy is when I when I think about just my experience of where I've come from, into every single roll, I think the biggest transition people go through is being able to do the general. And people think they should be leaders because they know how to do the job. But they lack the rial skills portion off what it takes to elevate everybody else around you. So you know when I take a Bach, too, when I was a store manager for the very, very first time, the way I used to promote my next leader is those that were the best, that selling the best at selling shoes and the best at doing loyalty program in the best at selling accessories the best at selling ah, peril. They had to be number one all the time. I have to learn the hard way that the best seller doesn't really correlate to the best leader. And I have to learn that on my own. And I had to learn a few failures. And there's some of the struggle than being called out and just some of those critical learnings that I have to go through in order for us to learn this. But putting this article in front of us, it really hits home. Could you like? You're right. The expectation of being able to drive the business is critical. But what makes them better or what makes them ready for the next role are the real skill that we're gonna continue to talk about on this podcast. So, Brennan, may I ask you a few questions? Have you? Number one went through the same thing. But I have. I'm assuming as long as you've been every time. Sure you've had that kind of learning. Probably a few times in your career as well. Just like me,
of course. Of course we have. I mean, you have to learn these things, right? You have to. And I've learned I think we've all our best. Learnings and educations have been through failure. So I'm right there with you, Alice.
Yeah, And the number to my question is, is how come you and I had to learn that their experiences? Why do you think it hasn't been taught?
Well, let me ask this. How do you teach that? I think that we have to look at it like that, right? Naturally, there's going to be some things that I mean, you just learn from experience, right? I mean, imagine I just look back and imagine. Read it. Sure. I mean, having an article like this would have helped 16 years ago. But would I have really understood the importance of the real skills? And I don't think so. I don't think the one thing that I did not say here for that is you have to go through everything every experience with a learning mindset, just like we talked about in the past. Because when you make that promotion right, when you make to promote that associate to a manager key holder just because of their sales results, and then you start looking and then they fail. You can do that's where the fork is, right? Go one way and it's they failed because it's their fault. Go the other way and they feel it is because it's your fault. And when you blame it on yourself as a leader, everything is your fault. Just 10 f Y I When you blame it on yourself, then you start saying Damn okay, it's my fault. But what did I do wrong? And then I think as you kind of self reflecting and dig in and say, Okay, well, you know, to be a manager, they have to lead by example. They showed me that they can lead by example, so I didn't do that wrong. What else is there to being a manager? And that's where you start peeling back the real skills. And I think that it's much easier, like the article talks about to measure typing, speed vs passion or commitment or communication. So I guess as I talk through this with you, I think it brings me to the point that we all need leaders that push us in your decisions. I mean, I think you and I were lucky to have have someone that pushes our decisions. But how do we How do we continue to push? And when someone makes that promotion, are we able to say why? Like, what's the real reason you're promoting this person, right? Is there a challenge there and just get past going back to your onions from one of the first episode, getting past that first and second and third layer and really diving into that person's core and making sure they're ready for the role? What do you think?
I agree. Ah, 100%. Um, we talk about the onion and the layers, and I think we say it almost every single episode. And in order for us to really put this in front of everybody, we how it comes down to us and the culture that we create. We are definitely held responsible for the results that come into play. But that could be consistently winning, and consistently performing comes down to the culture that we create in the location. I think every single episode Brennan, we talk about the culture that we set that we create and we allow, and what we do don't allow to happen within our in any of our businesses. But, you know, it definitely goes like, hand in hand, and it starts with us, and it starts with you and for anybody listening to this podcast like it starts with you and what you set the tone for because you can't sit around and wait for an organization to say, Well, this is gonna be our focus, because it's not, you know, this is gonna be something that we're always gonna be held responsible for. But in order for you to flex your leadership muscles, you've got to create that culture because if you said it toe, one person from the one person is gonna trade it to the next person to the next person into the next person. And it's a bit of your ripple effect, but it really starts with us, right? The basement for expectations and performance is always gonna be there. And that's how we're gonna be geared to, you know, like, you know, based on mirror increases and evaluations and promotions. And we're gonna see that often. But I think in order for us to be better that anybody else, it comes down to the culture that we create.
I agree. And I think that a big part of that culture is What do you tolerate? What do you tolerate in your store? Like when you really think about that, right? You clean your moment stories clean. Well, the folds. You're all good, right? Well, so let me ask you a question. If if we're working at an apparel retailer, right, and we have an associate, you and I are both managers, and we have an associate. You're the store manager. I'm your assistant manager. And I say Alice John tried to steal three pairs of jeans last night. What would you D'oh! Would you fire?
I would. Oh, well, before we get there, I have to make sure my facts were right. And I'm partnering with you. We partner with LP, and then you get everybody involved. Look at Kraemer. Oh, my God. Right.
I jumped. I jumped to the fire to it. Woods u S o. You would you would definitely roll it up to LP with the understanding or intent of If this person did, in fact, try to steal three pairs of jeans, they're not gonna have a job, right? Yeah,
they're not gonna work here, you know,
of course, Of course. So those just theoretically throw this this throw me a number? What would three pairs of jeans cost in our
store? Let's just about 1 50
1 51 50 for all three of OK, and then going back to that hiring manager example, I mean, hiring toxic employees. Example. How much does a toxic employee cost our organization?
Oh, my gosh, I completely forgot the number. But I want you to know that when I read this portion, I went straight to that. I don't think I got the number because we talked about, I think, in an overall. But I think we talked about their hourly salary, how long they're working than the store manager that has to get involved. And then the HR business partner of that house again involved, maybe even lost prevention than employee relations. And just think of how much that costs. And the band with that goes along with it. That is way more than 160 by far.
I think it was 12,000 right? 12,000.
A lot of money.
Big number. So with that in mind, if I come to you and I say, Hey, Alice, John John was just not a good person. Say, like, John had a really bad attitude, and he was kind of crappy to me. Like he was crappy to the customers whose crappy to the r the other workers also like. What are you gonna do about it?
I would most likely say, Are you sure? Are you sure he wasn't having a bad day? Did you give them an opportunity? You know, Did you train him or did you pull him aside? So it's not cut and dry, You know, we'll pull them aside, have a conversation. A. I want you to make sure you're okay, but, you know, we pull him aside and have a conversation with course, correct. But it wouldn't be cut and dry like that $150 with the merchandize walking out.
Let's just be honest. It's not fair to say that that would ever be that black and white, right? But at the end of the day, I think that how many of us I mean, I know I've done in the past. Um I mean, I could think of a couple of people right now that were phenomenal at selling accessories that I kept on the team, but they were. They didn't add a positive vibe of the store, but I kept him on because the numbers we always hit our goal. We were tracked by that k p I. So we always have that goal because that person was working so. But at the end of the day, we'll call him. John is also stealing from us. That person is stealing $12,000 a year for that Toxic Employees episode number. So often I think we have to make sure that our store managers and our leaders are care about the right things and care about real skills and the culture in the store. So how do you How do we like? How do you create that in a story? Alice? That's what I'm curious about. How do you create that in a store?
You know, um, you have to set the pace. You know, I think you have to be. It's getting to know your team. You have to be there for your team. You have a consistently inspire your team. You have to be truthful. You can't lie about things right, because the moment you lying, They find out about it. That's all bad. But it's what you set in your store. It's a tone that you set. But, you know, back when I was a rookie manager, all I wanted was was results. And I think a few episodes of go about accountability. I was that queen. I have corrected notices. So what is that culture that I was setting? You know, I have to want it the hard way. You know, a lot of people laughed that cost the company money because they I didn't want to work there anymore because I was crazy. I was all about results, and that's all I cared about. You know what the culture that you create by understanding where your employees are being able to be a great listener home, being able to hold them accountable once you were training them. But just the interpersonal skills is a big unlock that we need to ensure that we're instilling in our in our in our businesses. I
want to take one step back. Though you said that you were the queen of accountability and and all that other stuff, right, well, but, uh, I want to add on. Were you rewarded for your results?
I waas I just feeding transparent. I want Rookie of the Year that year. I do. I'm not sure if I could say the neighbor. I was going to say, I want the Larissa Blonsky award. Brennan. I'm sure you remember that. I want the Winnerscircle Award. I won like top something. Gate sailed. Gaynor work. I walked out with Four Platz my rookie year. I was rewarded for what we were able to accomplish, but that result wasn't sustainable. I ended up moving location, which is great. What? It didn't sit well with me because my team was still there. My team didn't grow as leaders. I didn't do anything to benefit then because I didn't set a culture that had everything to do with people. And even though the result was the bass sign, it was just that and nothing else more.
Yeah, and that's what the article. That's where this article really dives in and says, You know, the KP eyes in the metrics, they're important, right? Everything that you want, all those plaques that you want and walked away with. Those were all important and measurable pieces of the business. But if you had really skills, how much better would they have been? How much more sustainable wood those results have been? And that's where I think that early on and going back, you know, you can't. You're only gonna learn this from experience. Yes, you can become aware of it. And once you become aware of it, you can start impacting and and and making changes. But I think that you have to have some experiences where you say, where you reflect and say, Damn, I could have done that better Knowing what I know today, I could have done that better. And that's where I want to kind of move forward with this episode and saying, What gifts do you want to offer the listener tonight? Alice. What categories And what real skills do you want? Offer the listener
First and foremost, I want the awareness piece I want that self awareness is a superpower that we spoke on multiple times on different episode. But it's the awareness piece, I think, in this article, right where says work to be done. It quotes. Of course. Harvard Business Review. As you guys know, we definitely you know, leverage, a lot of articles to really move forward with these podcasts. But there was a line that I was like, Holy crap, that's a lot. Um, I'm sure you saw the line. I'm gonna read it real quick. Blue Solomon reports that 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with their employees. That's a long, you know, and I kind of sit back and reflect at where where we are as a company and some of the leaders that could be on our team because there were great executioners, meaning they were the best that sails on the best. That cleaning the stopper on the best at doing this, that when we put them in those positions, they didn't know how to talk to people, which 69% and I almost rounded up 70%. That's a lie And think about 70% of our field right now. That's a lot of employees that are uncomfortable with computation, uncomfortable with talking to other people. So I want to put that out there to our listeners that if this is you that we're talking to, it's okay. It's completely okay. It's more we want you to understand that you're not alone and we're gonna unlock back for you. And that's my gift to our listeners. Like you aren't in it alone. This is a really skills podcast that we're gonna talk about that we have. We've all been there. We could be there right now and you're not in it alone. 70%. Brennan. That's crazy, isn't it?
It is absolutely crazy. Seven out of 10 leaders. But I think we touched on it. How many people get promoted because of their results? Because solely because of their results in that in their previous role. And when you continue to distribute, you promote people based on a metric Well, I mean, let's be real. Is it possible that employees that work on Saturdays sell more than employees that work on Tuesdays? Obviously. So we need managers, and we need leaders across the organization that peel back the layers. And that's why, to me, the unlock is, if there were no metrics, would today be a win or loss. If we didn't track anything, would this be a success or failure? And that's where you start looking at. Yes, we have all the same expectations every retailer has expectations, right? They have visual merchandising expectations. They have customer service expectations. They have training expectations. So if there was nothing if we didn't measure based on results, but we measured based on behaviors, would today be a W. Wardell. And that's what I think you have to think about. And the real skills that we're gonna review here are just a different lens for you to look at your team. And just like Alison, I said, we both lack the ability to identify or execute these real skills. We both have grown a lot, and we still have a ton of growth to do. But the five categories that they list in this article is self control, productivity, wisdom, perception and influence. So, Alice, do you mind if I just kind of ask you to list maybe a 12 or three self control, real skills that are managers can look for in their team and how they can identify them?
Sure, Um, I actually picked out a few. That really resonated with me, and I feel like it kind of, um, for those that know why, um, it definitely kind of mimics what I do as a leader. so within self control. The three that I picked Number one was honesty. I am a big firm believer of honesty. Honesty is the best policy. Number two. If authenticity and consistent behaviour, the 3rd 1 was bouncing back from failure. And Brennan, you have not. You and I have been great partners for a few years now, and I think I'm sure as I state those three, you're kind of like Allah's. You've been through those. You know, You've had different situations that helped you, you know, I'll be the leader you are today. I'm sure all those stories are kind of racing through your head right now.
Yeah, Alice. I mean, we've been partners for a while now, and I know that you've gone through all those things now. Going a little deeper, though. How do you like How can leaders identify those in their team and themselves?
You know, I think it comes. I think when I look at self control, I just thought of self awareness and I think we don't do enough of self reflection and we're so like I said so result driven all the time that we don't take a step back as what we could do better as a leader. So when I come bouncing back from failure, I've been a victim to This is Well, I do it as well because we always want to be the best that when we lose, we completely shut down. You know how we don't want to talk to anybody. Got on that. That's what I've done. So, you know, you gotta identify yourself first before you go and teach anybody else that. And I think with self control, it all comes down to you because I think these are things that you can't really asking an interview. You gotta You gotta be able to live it so people can mimic what you do and be able to kind of drink the Kool Aid because you're you know, you're spilling it everywhere. So I think it comes down to what you portray and what you do in front of everybody that gets everybody toe kind of mimic What? You d'oh.
Yeah, you know, just staying on. Let's just use that one example staying on that bounce back from failure. Look, I know we I know we've got something here, So when you identify someone, I think you listed off a lot of great, um, kind of flags of when someone is challenged with accepting and bouncing back from failure as a leader. What do you do like because, you know, everybody's naturally. I mean a lot of these things. A lot of the situations that people are going to get into it. It's a human. It's human nature. You're going to get down on yourself. You're gonna be upset. If you're passionate about what you're doing and you fail, you're going to be upset. I mean, that's that's just the honest truth. So how do you How do you help them develop that skill set, Alice of bouncing back from failure like, What can you do?
I'm gonna tie. In our last episode, the level of Learn to delegate A few of the bullet points we talked about is number one, identifying if they are ready to take on a challenge. But I think the biggest one out of all those bullet points points is number one. You've got to create a culture where it's okay to fail, and you give them an environment where they could learn. So I think the failure piece needs to be while you're working hand in hand with the store manager. So for me, if I was assistant manager trying to be a storm answer and Brennan, you're my store manager. I would want my store manager you to put me in situations where man, I'm I'm great at everything, but I'm not I don't know how to interview. So maybe if I interview with my my store manager, they're gonna let me kind of test it on bam and then role play it. And then if I end up hiring the wrong person that much still managing, Of course, correct me and make me better. I think we got a foster those those environments and give them those opportunities to be able to fail and be okay with it. With your support, you don't want them to be in a brand new role. Ember by themselves. Maybe they go from an assistant manager, will tow a store manager role they've never interviewed before. Then they're hiring all these people cause they think they're the right people and they hired the wrong people. And there's theft issues. There's customer service issue of the business completely failing because I feel like if I was that new stores for mentor, I would completely break down and not reproductive. Do you bury my brother?
No, APS. Absolutely. So when you come across that store manager, that's not being productive and stuck in failure. What is that conversation sound like with him? Like that's what we gotta That's the gift we have to give our audience tonight is we got to help them. Understand? Okay, this is the behavior. We got a model. This is how we're gonna This is what it looks like. This is what success looks like. And this is how I can help build that behavior in my team. Does that make sense?
No. So I'm gonna speak on that a little bit and let me know if you agree with it. And I'm gonna pick on one of the words I picked because I think it goes hand in hand So bouncing back from failure if I, as a district manager, area manager, had a storm airs. I was new and rule and they were struggling and they were failing, and they just couldn't bounce back, I think. But honesty piece goes hand in hand. I would literally sit outside the store and have an honest conversation with them and say, Hey, Brian, what's going on? You know, you were a great assistant manager. We knew we could. You could do it. What's going on? You know, what can I help you with and really digging in to figure out what's going on right? Because if you don't ask the right questions and you aren't honest with them with their performance, sometimes they don't realize they're failing until you pull them out. They think like, Well, I'm selling or I'm doing I'm adding on my stockroom looks good, but I'm doing everything. But the whole story's falling apart. Sometimes you have to be honest as a leader to pull them aside and give them a reality check. Um, I've heard the term called Gina's conversations, but it's just comes to being honest with them and say, Look, you are struggling. Let's figure out what the disconnect is. What's the root cause as to why you are in the situation you are, and I think you have to practice the honesty piece because if we're not honest with them, it's hindering their ability to get out of that and bounce back from failures from whatever they're filling up and just be completely honest with them. It's okay to fail, they have to be okay with it. And again, you have to create that culture. But I think with the bouncing back from failure, you have to go and be honest with, um and be straightforward with them. And don't sugar coat it and say, Look, it's broken, it's not working. Let's come together and collaborate and work together to figure out what the solution is. We can't expect these new leaders to know what they're doing. They've never done it before. You know, a great saying that I've recently heard is when you get promoted to a brand new store manager, so or a brand new district manager, you are at that moment the worst store manager, the worst district manager we have. That's terrible, say, but it's true you've never done it before. We've got expect, and that's okay, you know. But you know, with that, I think honesty is gonna be key.
Yes, yes and yes. Now I just want our listeners to understand how this whole conversation just went when we talk about peeling back layers You can't stop at the first response, Alice, you and I talk every day practically right. And we discussed the podcast, and and we were on this podcast every week doing two or three hours of audio for it, but and we still challenge each other, right? And I love that you said honesty, because that is 100%. What I I would I see is before you can help anybody grow with anything. You've got to be honest with them. You have to. And then that piece that you said first, Alice, I look at that fallen into place and saying, OK, this store manager to say you're the story. So, Alice, you know, you failed there. You struggled there. This this and this right, weren't didn't get done. Like let's what was in the way. How can I help you get to where we need to go? And then direct and honest feedback. And then maybe you maybe you gave her gave them. Ah, that's just for measuring. Like you gave him 10 feet. They need to go. But they failed. Then I think you scale it back and say, Okay, let's go two feet at a time, right? That goes back to did you the delegation? Peace and how you're assigning tasks and knowing your team. And if Alice can't handle 10 feet, let's do two feet and what she does to feet. Let's do three feet and then we're at five. So let's do it. Let's try for five after that and Boom! Then we got to 10. So the task got complete. What do you think, Alice? What are your thoughts there?
I think I think that's key. And we've talked about sometimes another podcast. It's about knowing your employees, and that kind of goes with the third bullet point. But I'll talk about the third. You know, little, um, little quote, I guess, our line that I picked authenticity and consistent behaviour, Um being authentic, with your team being honest with them and helping them bounce back from failure, all ties into one thing. And out of all those words, it's on this little tool. Those three really stuck out to me because they go hand in hand with each other.
Absolutely. I think that authenticity, honesty and the ability to bath bounce back from failure. I think you chose three amazing ones Now what I want to challenge the listener to to do is read this article and I mean Alice, what's a Just throw a number out? How many? How many real skills do you think are under self control? It's 20 to 25 20. Okay, so there's 20. Let's just call it 20 pick your three and then ask yourself, You know how well, how well do I lead by example and illustrate what these real skills look like? And then how do I How well do I hold my team accountable for, for for delivering to the culture around these skills. And now, when I say hold up to team accountable, that's really hold yourself accountable for teaching your team, right? So I think that that's a That's a great list. So the next category then becomes productivity, right? What productivity skills do you think that our store managers and our leaders that are listening to this this podcast should should lead with
the 1st 1 that pops into my mind for in front of me? I guess you could say is listening skills. How may times have you in the past, huh? Piers subordinates, Any employee that's struggled with listening. I'm I'm going to be on earnest as my little buzz word, but I had or I have a very hard time being a productive listener. I know because I'm very self aware, but that is a big opportunity for me and understand, even in the rule that I am in, I challenged myself to be a better listener. But in order for us to continue to be productive, I think listening skills is the number one thing that kind of popped out at me.
Oh, I'm so glad you said that. That's that's why I couldn't agree more. And I love that. You added the word productive. Listen productive on there because it really is about being a productive listener. Now I love I love the vulnerability that you're showing and saying that that's something that you work on every day. Also, as we all do, what tips do you give to yours? Could you give to that store manager that's listening on how to one what what like what is productive listening when you see yourself struggling in it? What do you think like an A plus is from a productive listening standpoint. Oh,
my God, I don't even know if I could tell you what a pluses, cause I'm not in a plus out of it. You know, um, the best advice that I received was actually for my husband. Because, you know, when you're in a relationship, when you're at work, when you work with people, you're also in a relationship. It's not a romantic relationship. It's still a relationship. It's people. We work with people. So I think one thing he said to me one time is Why don't you listen to what I have to say instead of listening to respond? That was deep because, you know, when I was getting not in really in trouble. But when I did something wrong, I automatically went into defense mode, and I already ever Tommy had a conversation with me already happened to bounce back to Well, I didn't do it like, Well, what do you mean that I think the act of actively listening is to listen exactly what they have to say without trying to figure out a response. And I think the retail industry is very fast pace. You know, we're going because of technology, the online consumer. We could buy something with the click of a button with Amazon and retail, and you know I get that. But when it comes down to the court issue is we don't listen because we figured that well, what we know our people. And I already know what they're gonna say. So let's just not even, you know, give them an opportunity. Say it. But really, truly listening and not listening to respond was like a, well, a big thing for me because I've realized sometimes when I talk, I'll cut somebody off, because sometimes I feel like what I have to say is more important than what they have to say. But that's not really true, you know, so that that's a big one. Um, sorry, so long winded. But it's something that I'm still actively working on.
Yeah, and I think just just for the for the listeners, I think you said it in There is when you're listening, I think you can catch yourself. I think that again everyone is like you, said Elvis. Everyone does this. We're talking about retail and the listening skills. That's a sale skill also. So if you improve your listening skills as a leader. You're also going to improve your listening skills as a salesperson, and in turn, your sales will go up. And that might be a good opportunity for you to train your team on how to listen, because you can relate it to the customer and the customer. Moments happen many, many, many times a day that you can provide feedback all. But if you catch yourself as a leader tuning out with the person saying and immediately going into defense mode and kind of crafting your Arctic argument, that's when you know you're wrong. That's where you know you have opportunity because you're looking at it as a win or loss situation, and it's not. It's about understanding in a level setting. Ah, is that accurate? Alice?
So what? What would you say is the second most important productivity skill?
Well, this one popped out to me because we just had a podcast regarding at Delegation for Productivity and it the delegation portion is so important to you, and I and I think that there's a big opportunity there. That is why it continues to pop out of me because day to day I continue to see that we're just not there yet.
Yeah, and that kind of goes to the listening skills, too. And I love the ads on Delegation for Productivity. I mean, how many times have you as a manager or seeing as a leader seen people delegate because it's easiest, right? Delegate, Because they don't want to do it? And that's bad management. You delegate for productivity and whether it's that person can do it faster or my time would better be spent would be better spent doing this other task, right. Then how do you build? How do you del it? How do you build that up? Just a quick one. A couple quick points on that one. How do you build? How do you help your team delegate for productivity?
You gotta pick the right people. Number one. They have to be okay with doing it. And they have to be okay with, you know, or they just have to know what to do. And they want to do it. That's number one. You gotta pick the right person and then setting clear expectations, then showing them the desired result and what that should look like. Those three stuff I will tell you do not happen consistently.
Even the best delegator
all. Even the best ones. I struggle with it sometimes. It's okay. You just gotta check herself and just be honest with ourselves and that. Come from what? That self control self awareness piece, right? Like it's okay. You don't have to be the best at everything. And I think that shows with the bouncing back from Phil, you don't have to be perfect at everything. You know, sometimes you got to remind yourself when you're overwhelmed with the workload and you don't trust everybody, and you don't know what to hand off. You know, those moments are gonna happen, you know? But those are the times. Got to remind yourself you have to be self aware, like, Ooh, I need a quick reminder. How am I going to do this? Woman you to do again? Oh, my God. Okay, let me take a breath, you know, But it's okay, but that is something we have to work on. Every one of us.
Yeah, let me Let me just jump in there real quick because you said it. And just listening to you talk. It's your being a 100% real and sharing so many gems. I love it. But listening to you talk, you said it. Take a breath. I think a lot of a lot of challenges in life work retail come from moving too fast. So when you get flustered and when you're moving too fast, you start making mistakes. So to really master these real skills, you have to slow down. Would you agree with that? For every one of these, it comes to slowing down. What? You said it at the beginning. You said self awareness. So I'll just say, slowing down and being self aware. What do you think?
I think that's absolutely true, especially when it comes to the retail environment. You have to slow down if you're gonna expect or you tell yourself more. Let me wait till Monday when it's our office. They were not gonna be that busy. Or, you know, if you tell yourself that you're gonna find the time you're not. You have to create that. Whether it's just 30 seconds, just step out like let me just take a quick break. Let me learn bathroom real quick. Let me just sit there and just like, have a quick break. But you got identify when you need a break. Take a breath. Slow down. It's okay.
Yeah. I mean, I can't tell you how many times is a store manager. I would go just like he said. I go in the bathroom, take a breath, splash some water on my face, cool down, and then go approach the problem. And it works. So moving on what would be the third productivity skill,
the last one that I picked is tying management.
Oh, that's an important one. How do you teach that?
Oh, gosh. You know, um, what's funny is a few watched two years ago. I did a whole seminar during one of our meetings around time management for rookie managers. And can I just be Frank? This is something you can't just read a book and do it. You can't. One thing I've learned is every business is not cookie cutter. Every business has its own hurdle that they have to get through that. You have to get in and assess. Then you have to identify what the problems are first. Then you have to prioritize it. Then write it down and then figure out how to manage your time officially based on the cards you're dealt with. You know, I could sit. You could tell you like, Oh, my God, just sit there and just plan it out. You got this. But it's not cookie cutter. Brennan. You and I both run a completely different district. Both of our markets have different complexities to it. There's different labor laws to it. There's different shrink issues to it. There's different people issues to it there. It's so different that what works for me is not gonna work for Brennan. But I think with time management you have toe, take a breath, don't stress. You're probably stress, but you have to sit down and observe, write everything down, then assess and figure out where your time should go. But I think they're slowing down and sitting back, and I'm not telling you to go sit in the back for seven days straight. That's not what I'm saying, but you have to identify what cards you're dealt with because everyone's hand is different.
Yeah, I think I think that you have to again. I agree with a lot of points that you just made one. You talked about. You can't just teach this. You can't just learn. It's not cookie cutter. And I would argue that retail. I can't I can't name one business. That cookie cutter. I can't. You're dealing with human beings. It is not cookie cutter. So from a time management standpoint, you nailed it, slow down and then see the forest from above. So a lot of times, I mean, if we're playing, if we're playing a video game, we're playing first person, right? And that's always see Well, I would tell you get that drone out, throw the drone out and see what the forest looks like. See all the different complexities and all the different moving pieces, and then make a plan around that. But none of this is something that you could go toe one seminar or read one book or listen to one podcast and master. You've gotta you've gotta take take a piece from this. Take a piece from that book, take a piece from that seminar and see what works for you. Because it's definitely not cookie cutter, you know? What did you think about entrepreneurial thinking and guts? Did you see that one on there?
I did. And I'm just going to be quite frank. I didn't feel comfortable with it because Oh, I'm kind of shocked. I don't know why I didn't feel comfortable with it. You know, both of us. You and I both came from a store. So we've always thought of different ways to make our business better because we were so competitive, right? But I don't know why I didn't resonate with that right away. I think the other three is something, but I think because I struggle with it stood out quicker than the other ones did. Which is nice, because as you and I continue to progress in our podcast life, we are both coming from a different place. And we usually resonate with whatever's in front of us based on the situation that we're in.
Yeah, You know, what I like about that one is your entrepreneurial thinking and guts. I really you know, I really love that skill of those skills. But I would say, you know, the guts is the most important one. A piece of that, because you gotta have the guts. You gotta have the courage t act on your decisions. Because if you don't have if you don't have the courage and the guts to delegate or the courage and the guts to make decisions or to the courage and the guts to just stop talking and listen that takes that takes guts saying this person might actually have something to say. But on the flip side, I hate to do it, but that goes right back to you. In the culture that you create, do you create a culture within your store that encourages people to have guts that encourages people to speak up? You know, I saw another one on here. Facilitation of discussion discussion. Not going out there and doing traditional delegating is that you're going to do this today. You're going to do that today, You're gonna do that, and I'm gonna do this going in, approaching problems and saying, Let's talk about the problem and then even more powerful, what do you think we should do about it? And then listening through that and then having the guts to make a decision and that goes back up to decision making with effectiveness? You know what's really interesting? Alice is, as we talk through this, you could I could do this all day and just bounce back and forth and how they all connect to each other. Are you kind of seeing that also?
Yeah. Ah, ah, 100% you know, And that's what I love about this podcast were able to think differently, but we call things out like there is no right or wrong way. Everyone's going to resonate with different things. And that's okay, you know, as to call those three out. I'm kind of like, Oh, when's the last time I create a culture where one of my marriages said, Let's run with us And I'm kind of like, Okay, let's do it or, you know, just like, different things. So it creates an opportunity to challenge me myself, to be a different leader.
So let me ask you this, then how many of the three that I just listed off? And this is beyond us, right? Entrepreneurial thinking, decision making with effectiveness for Phil, Facilitation of discussion. How many of those did you have highlighted? No boom, right? And of yours, I had one that I had one of yours that you know, I didn't even see as important. And just to give the listener some background here that what we do, this podcast and Alice, Alice and I, we both identify articles and things we want to talk about. Then we review the articles or whatever you want to talk about. We highlight the key points that we see as important, and we see that we want to discuss. So I would love to dive in on another podcast, Alice. The Power of Diversity. And that's why we worked. I think that's why this podcast is so powerful. Because on your paper, what I thought was important was not as important to you and on my paper. What you thought was important was not as important to me. And so we can really give her well rounded perspective. And all we're asking the listeners to do is do the same and find what's important to you and then find someone that thinks differently from you and ask them what they think and then hear them out back to. Alice is listening skills, right?
Definitely. And I think we have to just accept the fact that they're everyone's different. Everyone's gonna resonate with things differently, and that's okay as long as you are open and honest and create the culture for routine
boom mic drop right there. I love that one, Alice. So Okay, let's hop over the wisdom. So the next the next one is wisdom. What did What did you highlight in wisdom?
The 1st 1 I actually picked was mentoring. And I you know, I think I hit that one first because, um, you know, for for the westerns that know me, I have a market that's very spread apart. So I have a few stores in one state, maybe one and another and the bulk in another state that across states, a lot of people won't meet each other. And to me, mentoring is crucial because you how to be able to learn through others that you might not see every single day. On the flip side, there's, you know, I am currently mentor in somebody else's. Well, that I could help educate them because I've been through it. I've seen it. So anyone that hasn't been in the roll before, they understand that. Okay, well, I'm not the only one. So Hartner ship accountably partners and you know, just people out there that are willing to tell I think that's super important.
So how so less? I love what you're saying. I highlighted Mentor. And also I think it's you know, you can have all the wisdom in the world, but if you're not sharing it with anybody, what are you doing? But are you seeing the ones that you highlighted? Are you seeing the interconnectedness of them all? Do they all kind of link up and lied to each other?
Yes, definitely. How about you?
What's your Yeah, absolutely. What's what's your other ones? What? It's no more.
I did empathy for customers, coworkers and vendors, and I think more so because of the world we live in. I guess it kind of electrical effect. Um, I just see too much of those issues occurring in our field that what I'm mentoring, somebody having them understand how customers are Holly, your team is how their peers are and how our vendors are is super crucial, because I think in our field we lack empathy.
Do you think that you need empathy for the person that your mentor in to be a successful mental?
Of course. Of course. You can't just sit there and tell them exactly what to do with judge them and say, Well, you did it wrong But I think as a mental, it's huge because you're very critical to their success. Your job is to make other people better. And as you said, you have so much wisdom and you've been through so much. It doesn't matter if you don't share with anybody and you share with other people to impact their lives. So you have to have empathy. Yeah, you have to.
You know, when I think about the mentor in peace, when I think about the mentor in peace, I really look at it as being different. No, I think we are. Many organizations have had likes training store managers, and when you think about like a training store manager position, it's really about taking a ball of clay and getting it to fit in a in a cookie cutter, right or a square box. Do you agree with that?
Definitely done. Well, you can't be a round peg trying to be shoved into a ah square hole. But when you meant for somebody, it is like Clay. You're helping them build themselves into this leader that goes into hope.
Yeah, I would say that the difference between mentoring and training is in training. My perspective is that you're trying to get them to fit inside of your box. And as a mentor, you are trying to better understand what box they want to fit in. What do you think is that accurate?
Definitely accurate. And again, mentorship is work helps that by far by far. And it comes through other people's experience. And, you know, God, you know, when I was younger, I absolutely hated it when somebody would say, back in my dairy, back in my day. Oh, I've been to the situation. Oh, my goodness. Back in my day, we did this, and at that young age, I didn't appreciate it. You know, um, I neglected it. And now I am where I am. So I try to not use that terminology back in my day. But in a way that the person you're meant Tory is able to resignation with it or really to it.
Yeah. Yeah, I love I think that See, I'm a big got this, but I'm a big back in the day back in my day. What type of person? Because But I think you have to be intentional with, right? I think you have to say I want to achieve something here. Because when you go in from, like, a supervisor to direct report relationship, right. And this is the great thing about coming up in retail, Alice, for you and I is that Yes, we're going into every visit that we do as a supervisor to direct report. But when we want to connect, we can go back. It's a back in my day. You know, back in the day, when I did, I did this with your position like this. This was also my biggest struggle, right? And this is how I overcame it. And so I'm big on the back of my day. I might be right. Might be wrong. I don't know, but it works for me because it allows me to connect with from an experiential level. Do you see that piece?
Yeah. I definitely D'oh! Hey, Well, works for you might not work for May. I think I just had such tough experiences. You know, growing up, my mom would tell me back in my day or when I was first in love or blah, blah, blah, and you're like, even never in love with you. I mean, you know, I just think of back, you know, it's like, Oh, you know, the like. I said, You know, as we go through this where we both feel differently about things and we go about it differently and that's what I think makes us great partners and great leaders in our region. And that's gonna be okay. You have to be a Copa,
absolutely. And I think that back to the buzzword that's the empathy piece right is that we have to have empathy for each other and seek to understand each other's perspectives. And that's why that's why this works so well. Because we both have such a similar yet different background. What else do you got? What else we have on the wisdom piece?
Um, I actually wrote social skills kind of what we went back about the vocational skills in the baseline and where kind of our leaders are today that just because they know the job they know well, they know how to do it, that they're the best leaders, that the biggest opportunity is they have a hard time confronting or communicating with 13. So social skills, I believe it's very important because if you don't have that, how are you going to lead a team? You don't have social skills. You can run mentor. Anybody screw the empathy portion, Then you might as well keep all your wisdom to yourself, but understanding how people receive feedback and just being able to make somebody feel comfortable. Um, you know, I think that's huge. You gotta be sure to have somewhat of a social skill in order for you to lead.
How do you build that? Well, how do you identify it? And then how do you build it?
I'm gonna be quite frank. I won't Social skills. I was originally gonna say, I can't teach that. But I had to pause because we can teach that we have to put them in those critical skills before they become a leader to be ableto number one. If you're solicitous and you're trying to learn how to sell, that's a vocational skill that can be taught. They could be the shyest person on the sales floor. But if you role play with them and you make them drill it and then you're mentoring them and they and you role play with them. Then you're gonna help them build that. You know that soldier skill that talk to a customer? That's step number one, then number one. Because, you know, when I was growing up, I absolutely hate a real plane. It was nerve racking. I have really bad stage fright. I didn't want to do that at all. You know, that's just part of it. So when you practice it over and over again and role playing sex If I were to do something with you, Brennan, I'd like Oh, my God, Can you just do it? I think the very first time we did a podcast, he said, Alice, you want to kick it off? No, no, no, no. You do it. You do it first. I still get nervous, too. But in order for somebody to get better at it, you gotta put them in those situations where you will help them build confidence. So customers is number one Customers is easy because not gonna see him again unless they talk with you all the time. Right? But then after that, you have to put the self associate into other critical learning skills. and other opportunities, too. Maybe. Hey, Brennan, your brand new associate. I know you are amazing at measuring someone's feet. So you know what? Since you're amazing at it and you just did to your last 10 customers, I'm gonna have you show John how to do it and you'll say, Oh, and but all right, let's go ahead and do it. Then you watch and observe. Then you start challenge them to teach some other things. So you know, it's teachable. You just got to give them a space to do. So sorry. That was a long winded answer. But you gotta give him that space.
Yeah. No, I agree. And I would just just listening to you talk. You know, that's what's so fun to do this because I could listen to you talk, and I can kind of think through an analyze it. Also, the first thing that comes to mind for me is social skills is about connecting with people. That's it. Can you connect with customers? Can you connect with your direct reports? Can you connect with your leaders? That is social skills and our job is on. And I love that you said customers because you have so many opportunities every single day. What I used to do is a store manager was I would I would go in. That's okay. It's your first day. So here's what we're gonna do. Gotta get comfortable here. You know, you're working five hours today, so you gotta figure out five people's names. So I want you to figure out five customers names, right? Because you can't just go up and can't go up to a customer's a Washington where you can, but that'd be weird, right? You got a connect, and you've got a find, shared experiences and find out what they're in there for. And then at least a Hey, by the way on Brennan, what's your name? Nice maps. Well, super Super excited to have you in today, John. I can't wait to show you what we got. What do you think is doesn't come back to connecting?
Definitely. And I think I didn't say those words, but it comes to that right. When you put those associates in those critical situation where they're learning how to connect with a customer, you gotta push them. And what's great is all these bullet points and all these words we're talking about. It's all teachable. And sometimes we fail to realize that Oh, well, they should come with it, you know? So you're right. You just gotta put them in those situations and just really, you know, motivate that more. Just pushed them to do it.
Yeah, and find fun ways to do it. Make it fun. And you hit the nail on the head. If you without social skills, you're not sharing any of this wisdom. I'm looking at this list and for the listeners that you look at that list, let me know if any of these can be achieved without social skills. So let's move on. Let's go on a perception. So the next the next. The fourth category is perception. What did you highlight in perception, Alice?
I only highlighted one.
Me too. Okay, so this is excited. What do you like?
Oh, I wrote judging people in situations.
Oh, that's a good one.
What did you pull
Well, of course. Of course you did. Oh,
but it's also it's also the 1st 1 So I think I just highlighted that because now, listening to you say judging people in situations. That's totally a great one, too. So talk about why you selected judging people in situations.
Um, I think it's just all those situations I've been during these last few years. Um, uh, and you know, you and I talked about unconscious bias and buys not long ago that as long as we've been in retail, we fall in tow a place when you judge somebody by a particular situation that you haven't been a part of. But then because you're a good friend of somebody, so you're gonna automatically judge him and no matter what the situation is, and I think it's not the right thing to do, and I think that's what it kind of stuck out to me is being aware of when you're doing it and ensuring that you're not doing it. And in every other one that we hade were like, Okay, it is what you have to be. You have to do. You have to do this. You have to do this. You have to do this. But the perception point out of all of them, it's kind of like, Ooh, that's a red flag right there. Don't you dare, gents, somebody by maybe even a situation we're in a part of, and you gotta be. So you've got to be neutral sometimes as a leader. So that one kind of hit home for me, because, ooh, maybe you shouldn't do that.
I just got to take This is so crazy because your take on that is the 100% opposite of the way I read that. And I think, but it goes back to that experience Is peace, right? I think that you've been doing a lot on bias right now. And so immediately when you heard judging people. You know, you kind of went to the bias piece, right? Okay, when I read it, it's more like I guess I replaced, judging with evaluating. So it went more like evaluating people in situations and And what to do in that situation or what or what? Action to take. Does that make sense? Yes. Yeah, I think I think that. But both ways, both ways. I think that from a perception standpoint, you have to be able to judge or evaluate situations and people and make decisions, and you have to be able to stand back again, like the drone over the forest and say OK, I need to do I need to go approach this right now and I need to go make a change here or this situation. This situation looks like a positive interaction, right? And then or maybe what if that situation is in negatives, His negative interaction. So the ability to judge the people in the situations involved situations, uhm allows you to kind, I guess going back to the other one's deal Diplomacy, diplomacy in difficult situations, dealing with difficult people. It just allows you to make a decision. And if you misjudge it, you're gonna miss the judge. You're gonna make the wrong choice. So what you thought
it is? You know, I think all I could think of is how you know, I think we continue to surprise ourselves as very similar. You and I are as a leader and how different we are as a leader, we look at one liner. I think we've done this a few times on different articles. You like, huh? I didn't take it that way, but interesting. You took it that way. And we don't shame each other for doing so. And it's just it helps you think differently. And I think, Oh, my God. Going back is you know, you gotta ensure that you give the platform to your team to speak up. Which one was it that you click earlier? It was from productivity, right? Facilitation of discussion or entrepreneurial thinking and guts. Decision making, with effectiveness. What? It just kind of goes back to what you and I do is Oh, why didn't think of it that way? But you and I create that culture. Where would give me back to each other?
Exactly. An empathy and understanding. And you don't. Did you say you hit it? Neither person is right or wrong. So now one of the only hit one. And they're also, uh, the design thinking. But what's what you pick for influence?
Ah, my God. This one was like a whole page. And I have, um so I put inspiring toe others number one, then I god, interpersonal skills, storytelling and team building. Other before that, I
maybe just talk to your talk to the listeners about how maybe your top three connect or how to coach and develop those. Like, how do you make some? How do you make someone inspiring. That sounds
hard. It is. So I'm gonna kind of take out into personal skills because that's what this real skills thing is about, right? This the overall just of everything but inspiring toe others. I think I think that picked that one because about five years ago I went into a market that, you know, I'm an agency, my leader. There's not a lot of female leaders, but in once or particular had a few. I was very shocked at how many female leaders we had, and we're just talking about some of those troubles I've been through, and they're kind of like, Wow, you just kind of gave me hope that I could actually do it And I was Sean, because I'm like, Why would you think you can't do it? And that's completely different. Topic and I don't want to go off tangent, but I think it resonates with me a little bit differently because of the retail industry and me being a female, a swell that I want to set a good example for any of those females leaders out there that you know, has a family or once a family that travels a lot but they don't know how to do it. Or just any of those things that I think I ice want. I don't want to sound arrogant, but a lot of people think I'm a certain way because of a harness. Because I'm you know, I'm a bit of a female that I have I should have certain things that when I talk about the things that I didn't have, people are like, Whoa! And you were where you are without that. Like, Whoa, I could do it. But, you know, I think I've heard that a lot. So to me, that one kind of stuck up to me because I've made it my life goal to ensure that I've show other people that it can be done
Nice. So break that down into some action. So how do you I mean, you gave us so many gems just now. But how do you How do you inspire? How do you How do you How can our leaders in there listening right now helped build that? That's salt that real skill up within their team or themselves.
Um and I think you call it out a few times during this podcast is you have to be vulnerable. You have to be okay. Um, with sharing the learnings that you've had a lot of people are afraid to share because they think they're gonna be judged. Or, you know, I think we talked about that back there, right? Don't do it. Maybe that's why I said that. You know, the perception don't judge people by their situations, but I think we gotta get out of our own head Sometimes I'd be very self aware and confident and friend, and you and I talk about confidence all the time. But I think you have to be genuine. You have to be vulnerable in order for that, for anybody listening toe, understand that you're being real about it. I think if you're not vulnerable and yours making of situations, why would anybody take it seriously?
Absolutely. And I think that that's it. I mean, just listening to you, I thought that was a really hard thing to coach, and I thought that was gonna be a really hard answer because you hear, you know, inspiring to others as a real skill. God, what the heck does that look like? But when you break it down like that. Just be vulnerable, inauthentic and the right people. People that you want to connect with will follow and listen. So what was your third? What was your 2nd 1?
My 2nd 1 was storytelling again. I think that resonated with me because of this podcast. You and I share a lot of experiences and stories because I think you and I have come from a very genuine place. And this podcast was to really give back to the leaders out bear that are struggling with certain different skill sets. So I think we really talk about experiences through the stories that we have and that goes handed him with the wisdom portion with mentoring and having empathy. So I think I used to tell people what to d'oh. But I've come to the realization at the meeting, different types of leaders that it hits home more when you tell it in a story telling format.
Yeah, you know, just just I have that one highlighted as well. And when you just like you said, when you story till you know, you don't think of storytelling as a way to to drive results or as a way to be successful, but the one above it is reframing and bye bye, storytelling. You kind of you have an ability and an opportunity to to frame up the conversation and create this, I guess is this vision for the for the person you're talking to? Two to go through. And so I love that you picked that one. And that was your 3rd 1
I team building because when I first Kim's my market. Um oh, my gosh. Please don't judge me for saying this is whenever I talk to my store managers and I want to train and develop them, I not gone. Would I just knocked on wood. I I used to say, I want to make sure I give you everything you need to be successful cause tomorrow's never promised meaning. I could not be here tomorrow, you know, with us. You know, with anything gone, I'm gonna knock on wood to make sure nothing happens, but, um, I would say that, but my team at the time weren't very close knit. They depend on each other. They talk crap about each other or, you know, they just don't like each other or there were few that work. Just a few stores were very close with. The rest wasn't back to me, a teen. A strong team is crucial because you don't win by yourself. We do it with your peers. And like I said, I'm not always gonna be here. But your team will always be there for you, you know, So to me, that's a big thing for me and any of my leaders that's on my team currently will tell you that, Um, you know, you and I talk about Pan or interviews and a seat at the table and anybody that wants to be store manager, my market. My team has to sign off because we are part of their development. If you need help and I'm not available, meaning the area manager is not available, they're able to reach out to their peers and get the answers. They partnered together to come up with a solution. Part two coming to me. So team and building a team is very, very, very crucial to me and Brennan. You and I are part of an amazing team as well. We challenge each other, we call people out, we respect each other. We might get mad at each other, but at the end of the day's because we want to push each other. And that's kind of what I strike to ensure that I have in my market.
Nice. So for a store manager from a store manager perspective, how does this store manager build the team in the store?
It comes back to the culture that they create. It has to be honest, and they have to be often tuck. And I think if it starts with the store manager is easy because I think once I've heard that everything is mimic re people do what you d'oh. You might not think that they pick up on things, but they dio so whatever you're doing you preach, is what they're gonna say. Okay, cool. This is the right way. So I'm gonna do the same thing he does or she does. So I think the authentic and being honest and being consistent back of the three things I picked in self control it comes on to you and the culture that you create.
I'm with you. I think team building is one of the most important pieces on here. How do they decide what position does a team. You have different positions. How do you decide what positions each player fits into? Or is that Is that something that's important? You think?
I think it's definitely important because even you and I on this podcast were different. We're very different, but we're on one team and it worked. I think it comes down to who you have on the team and what kind of personalities they have. And I think we've said time and time again. You gotta know your employees. So if I had a district full of me, I would die. I wouldn't want another Alice. I don't think my boss would want another Alice. I think one is enough one and done. That's fine. But you know, sometimes when we're so result driven that we failed to see the strengths and the opportunities of every individual that we have. I think it comes down to the awareness piece of the store manager. You have to know your employees. If I had a bunch of Brennan's, I die, right? That's the truth. We can't have too many of that. What, you got to see who is good at what? Who's not good at what and then find people that offset all that. And then I think, within each one was going to be different. You know, when I look at a leadership team but like, you know, when I was a stormy our dread a different company. I have different leaders that where they were very, very good at different things, and I became the mayonnaise in a sandwich. I love Mayo. Please don't judge me, but in a sandwich component, there's your bread slices. Then there's your turkey. There's no TV, there's a lettuce and tomato. And then there's the mail. That kind of holds everything together, or even a toothpick that holds that sandwich together. So I became that toothpick. I had to identify what my leaders were good at. Maybe one was really good at visuals. Maybe one was really good at hiring Developing. Maybe one was really good at watching the floor. Or maybe something would really get out training. Um, you gotta identify what people are good at and where their opportunities lie, so you could challenge them to talk to other leaders or other associates to really bridge that gap between their strength and their opportunities.
No, I agree. I agree. And I think that there's no one more. Question is how many times do you go into a rookie manager store and the entire team looks the same?
Oh, my goodness, may I tell you? But that goes back to the beginning of this podcast, and we talked about when I was a rookie manager. I want all these awards because we got the results. That's all we know. We have to hit a number. I know my clientele. This is the type of person. So I'm only at higher the kind of person and my whole store. It's in a dispute one person, and that's all I'm gonna do because all we need is a result on. I think it comes down to the real skills. This is what we need to look at an assessor team with the self control, with the productivity, with the wisdom, perspective, perception and influence that helps you identify who you need on your team to continue to be successful. So real skills it's so important. It's so crucial to the success and the culture of your business.
Yeah, I would say, just just just to close this out. I guess my my last piece here would be would be Stop looking at whatever you're trying to build. Well, there's team building. Whether it's elevating someone so many times we're looking. When we say diversity, we think about gender. We think about race we seek will think about sexual orientation, right? We think about all those all those. I guess diversity immediately goes to those protected classes right on the poster. Normally. And I would say Make sure that you're looking for diversity of thought because that's where I think you'll get the biggest bang for your buck with these real skills. And, you know, I I gotta give Seth going to shout out here. I mean, this is his article. I graduated from the old M b a L o N B A 33 last year, and it was a life changing experience. Um, Alice, you did the reels girls conference. I know, and I know that was a big experience for you as well. And just to show Seth some love is if your leader and this kind of stuff interest you often times you are about your organization has educational reimbursement, and you can take the real skills conference you might. You might be able to take the real skills conference and have your employer pay for it. So if this type of conversation interests you and I apologize for going on for an hour and 1/2 on this But if this interest you work with your boss, work with your organization and see if they'll pay for the real skills conference for you, I mean, do you think that be add value to to the listeners?
Oh, definitely. I think it really You know what? I did it in January. It was an amazing experience that reading this article was like, 00 my goodness, Oh, my goodness, what a good segue way. But it really challenges you and, you know, to be vulnerable in front of absolute strangers that you might not even talk after. But you create great networks, but it really challenges you to be different, and you can't think about it and try to create a persona for yourself. But you get so real that it really hit home for me that I think I got off that someone. I said, Brennan, let's do this podcast, literally one week later, we did the podcast, so I think it's a great, great seminar. It definitely hit home for me. I want to cry at the end of it. So I think it was a great learning for me. And it was a good segue way for me. I think on 2020. My goal is to do MBA this year, So I would really challenge a lot of our listeners to really check it out.
Nice. Well, anything else, Dad?
No, that is it. All
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