Utilizing your Past Relationships to Embrace Your Present Success

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 Lifters

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

#2 Jerks

1.  Who ticked you off?

G- my store manager

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

#3 Transformers

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.

#4 Wasters

1. Who didn’t matter?

“K”- My first District manager

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.

#5 Hurters

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.

In Summary:

  • 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.

5 thoughts on “Utilizing your Past Relationships to Embrace Your Present Success

  1. This is quite interesting. Coincidentally, as you’ve done for your professional life a review of relationships you’ve had in the past, I just posted last night a list of 5 personal relationships that moulded and even mould me up to now. First the laptops, and now this! LOL! We may have bee born under the same stars, ShopGirl A! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting. Being British, I have never come across anything like this before. I may give it a go. Thanks for the inspiration,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not going to write a whole book here in your comments section, so I’ll give two: Lifters: Connie. She saw passed my youth (at the time) & background to elevate me to my fist supervisory position because she knew I was best for the job. I try to do this now in any situation, and especially when in a supervisory/managerial situation. Wasters: Lonnie: (hey, that rhymes!) He was an assistant manager when a store I worked at had no manager. Unfortunately, he had a serious alcohol and drug problem so he would often leave things undone and show up intoxicated. He still wouldn’t delegate important tasks. Us “Team Leaders” tried to keep things going but found it impossible and everyone got burnt out. Eventually he went to rehab and the DM finally got in a good Manager after several failed attempts. I will always keep my head on straight so as to never be like him.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s