STORES Magazine - March 2008 - (Page 82)

CONSIDER THIS/ LOEB RETAIL LETTER Copyright 2008 by Loeb Associates Inc. Used by permission. Leaders Need Coaches BY WALTER LOEB If you want to lead, you have to have a coach. The late University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler said that the first step every leader must take is to listen. He felt that after you listen to your associates, they will listen to you – because if you don’t like them, you cannot lead them. This philosophy also applies to retail executives. Sam Walton listened very intently to what customers and associates had to say; David Glass of Wal-Mart called it managing by walking around. Similarly, Gordon Segal, CEO of Crate & Barrel and Kip Tindell, CEO of The Container Store, showed the same awareness of their customer’s wants and needs. Consumer-oriented, leadership coaching has proven Walter F. Loeb is a New Yorkto be very helpful in making based consultant and member executives better leaders of the NRF board of directors and listeners. In their book whose newsletter is published “Executive Coaching for Remonthly in STORES. sults” authors Brian Underhill, Kimcee McAnally and John Koriath offer many ideas that help leaders in the industry with their professional personal development. Through coaching, a leader has a rare opportunity to impart one-on-one attention and hold private discussions to resolve operational questions. It is an intense leadership development process that usually has the approval of senior management and for which there should be a checklist of expectations. Among the ideas that can be developed: Choosing and committing to a purpose. As leaders, new ways of responding and behaving can generate creative tension and some discomfort. The coach helps individuals articulate an exciting purpose and, possibly, a new course of action. Building clarity. Coaching can effectively support and enhance this process. Learning through practice. Rather than offering solutions, a coach helps leaders to look at resistance in order to understand consequences and to find new strategies to practice – stretching beyond current limitations for new behaviors. Any leader who wants to grow within an organization will profit from coaching. Through the initiative of a leadershipdevelopment strategy, executives can exchange ideas, challenge themselves and, through coaching, develop the right strategies. This benefits everyone – the leader, associates, customers and the company. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, 70 percent of a leader’s learning development comes from prior work experience, 20 percent is on-thejob learning and 10 percent is from formal education and training (coaching Through the initiative of a and mentoring fall under on-the-job leadership-development strategy, training). All mentoring and coaching projects are linked to the overall corpoexecutives can exchange ideas, rate objectives. challenge themselves and, Coaching is an emerging resource through coaching, develop the that many companies are beginning to use. It is likely that more executives are right strategies. This benefits going to use coaches, since the deeveryone – the leader, mand for innovation and newness will associates, customers cause major changes in any organizational structure of retail companies. and the company. Through coaching, aggressive leaders can anticipate the impact of change. WWW.STORES.ORG 82 STORES / MARCH 2008 http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - March 2008

STORES Magazine - March 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Sam’s Club Gets Tough on RFID Stragglers
Athletes for Hire
What Shoppers Think
Goodwill Hunting
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Luxury’s Shrinking Purse
Workplace Law
First Look
Green Retailing
Cosmetic Sales
Inventory Tracking
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - March 2008