How to strengthen your leadership skillsBY Australian Retailers Association
There’s no doubt that retail is a challenging landscape, with those operating within the space often finding it challenging to adapt due to the industry’s competitive nature. At some point however, those who have decided to make a career out if it have no doubt been challenged mentally and physically by the perplexing retail landscape. For anyone who has been in a similar situation, it’s easy to understand that this can impact your mojo as a leader and retail business operator.
Becoming a topic of conversation for those operating within the retail industry, more and more leaders have begun to discuss the relevance of motivation. Local industry trailblazers such as Mark Zimmerman, founder and lead coach at On the Mark, and Kaylene Langford, founder and editor at Start Up Creative, share their thoughts on the subject within the retail space. Below are the top tips for those wanting to strengthen their leadership skills and boost their mojo in order to grow their business.1. Invest in yourself and your team
Retailers are investing in themselves and their teams, and if you are not at the very least investing in yourself, you are inadvertently exposing yourself to the risk of being outmanoeuvred. Have a developmental plan in place so that you can continuously enrich yourself and your team with fresh concepts, be inspired by different perspectives, and gain the ability to unlock goal kicking ideas that lead to the big wins that both you and the business need to succeed. When it comes to investing in yourself, what you put in is what you get out!2. Don’t be afraid to lead into the unknown
Today, teams turn to leaders that are not afraid to face the uncertainties of a volatile market. Leaders need to feel comfortable and be able to operate effectively when being pushed outside of their comfort zone. It’s important that leaders also demonstrate assertiveness and confidence in the face of tough times. I am a huge advocate of “throwing away the rule book” and taking calculated risks when operating in a highly competitive market. It’s not always easy to show confidence when the big sharks are circling, but being able to project confidence, as well as having faith and belief in yourself, is absolutely vital in this component of leading into the unknown.
3. Mojo is the energy that fuels the machine
You may have the best product, amazing customers and a great team, but without mojo flowing through the veins of your organisation, success will be limited by what’s in the tank. Being able to grow and nurture the culture and climate of a business into one that oozes passion and energy can ultimately define your company’s success. Your mojo is infectious, and it is the essence of what will get you and the business through the tough times. Ever notice that some companies just seem to gel, operate amazingly well as a team and tend to lift the mood of those around them? It’s mojo that drives this vibe. You can’t buy it. You can’t see it, but you can create it. It can be argued that company culture is where the difference between good and great is defined.4. Be outcomes driven
Everyone talks about goals, but I say don’t make them the sole purpose of your existence. If you are outcomes driven you tend to think on a broader scale, which in turn allows you to segment the actions that are required to achieve them. Being outcomes driven encourages a different way of thinking, as it drives leaders to be solution focused, rather than spending too much time worrying about problems. For Kaylene, the key outcome is creation of the business of your dreams. It’s important to find what makes you excited, the things you love doing, and the things that people compliment you on.5. Become a communication champion if you want to succeed
The time, opportunity and monetary cost of poor communication is astounding. It is expected that as a bare minimum, leaders demonstrate good communication skills, but if you need to lead into the unknown and out muscle your competitors, how you communicate to those both internally and externally can literally be the difference between success and failure. Many leaders fail to realise that communication is a two way process, and that active listening is one of the key elements to being a great leader.
Both Mark and Kaylene will join the panel of industry experts as part of the Conversation Series at the Life Instyle Sydney event this month. For further information surrounding the Life Instyle Sydney event and how you can get involved, visit: www.lifeinstyle.com.au
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Australian Retailers Association
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.