Feb 14, 2015
If you are anything like me you find yourself reliving the trials of your past and how you should have reacted to them, more often than you, or I, care to admit. You find yourself cringing at a past peer, or laughing at the memory of a great employee all while you are driving quietly and alone in your car. People around you will notice your face and body change as the past comes back to haunt you, and may implore what is wrong. Or maybe me and the voices in my head are just alone in this?
My freshman year of college I was asked to write a paper on the five most influential people in my life at that point. I chose the typical ones, an old boss, a teacher, a school bully, a bestie, and a parent. The paper really opened my eyes to the long lasting affects that others had on me, and made me appreciate their touching my life. Friday morning on the blog Leadership Freak we were offered the challenge to exercise a similar practice but in a more grown up professional aspect. Take these five types of people you have encountered in your professional journey and answer these two simple questions about each. The questions will not only trigger you to let out these stories you keep within but they also alter your perspective to a more constructive outlook.
Here are my Answers:
1. Who made me better?
My final district manager “A”
2. How did they make you better?
- Asked for my professional and personal goals
- Checked in regularly on my progress of these goals
- Was a fantastic listener
- Did everything she could to help me achieve my goals (which I did)
3. How would you like to emulate their behaviors?
- I ask my employees for their goals
- I keep a journal of ideas and game plans for each of my managers and their goals
- I motivate my managers to keep to their deadlines
- I check in with them monthly on their feelings of their progress towards their goals
1. Who ticked you off?
2. What about them was frustrating?
- Negative leadership
- Did not care about the product or ideals of the store
- Was extremely negative about all aspects of our job
- Came in his first day demanding to be called sir as he shouted out unnecessary orders
3. What do your frustrations say about you?
- I have a passion for my work and employer
- I am an optimist and motivator
- I foster & encourage personal growth
- I believe in earning respect over demanding it
1. Who made a positive difference in the world?
“L”- a DM I worked with and under for a short time
2. How did they make the world better?
- Without obligation she showed me all the reports DM’s look at so I had a better way of molding the habits and expectations of the managers/sales teams I trained and encountered.
- She believed in changing the company outlook from demanding sales to encouraging good work and improvement.
- She opened my eyes to a fresh form of management that really fostered the development and growth of my employees.
- She made me feel important and successful with her constant positive and constructive feedback.
3. How would you like the emulate their behaviors?
- I have started this blog in hopes of altering perspectives of burned out retail workers. Offering a place for a fresh and new perspective to inspire motivation.
- I always believed in training anyone below me to the level I was. Your best sales associate should act to the expectations of your best team leader and so on.
- I practice continuous feedback to my staff.
1. Who didn’t matter?
2. Why did you forget them?
- She didn’t talk to me about my job, but instead about her affairs (literal marital affairs).
- She didn’t use her trips to help me improve my stores but instead to shop for lingerie
- She didn’t hire managers based on her teams, but just as she could find them.
3. How can you not be like them?
- Make each store visit count with training, observation, and face to face time with my managers.
- Keep topics professional
- Be sure the managers I hire will be a great fit for the store.
This one in particular is the one I truly struggle with still to this day.
1. Who hurt you?
The anti-name: A district manager I was peers with
2. What about them was hurtful?
- I was issued her continuous non-performing stores, and the managers told me that she did not offer training or help but instead criticism and unprecedented orders.
- Store visits were not used for diagnosing store issues but instead resetting a display before leaving with less than an order to improve performance.
- She was threatened easily and would tear down her peers to her boss in order to improve her own image.
- The fact that she could get away with all of this for years and her true motives never be discovered.
- She ruined my image of my work ethic and dedication to the company to our boss as a rookie with elaborated falsehoods based on a thin string of tiny truths.
3. How are you better because you’ve been hurt?
- I know now to report their issues before they become my problem.
- I know to diagnose problems instead of shouting out orders
- I must take on future endeavors with complete confidence in my position in my company.
- Be motivator
- Be a problem solver
- Make my expectations clear
- Make each store visit, phone call, and work day productive
- Play smarter than those who play dirty
Now it is your turn…please jot down this list in your blog and link it back to me, and/or simply leave a quick summary of what you have learned about your own past encounters in the comments below.