The leadership holiday effect


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There are several somewhat intangible staff attributes that separate the good from the great stores over the course of the holiday season. They aren’t things we train on, but are the result of the leadership and the effect they have on his/her team.

These intangibles directly impact the customer’s experience and, ultimately store results, in a positive or negative way. Here are some key intangible for your consideration.


Well-led teams are excited about the upcoming holiday. They know that the next six weeks will be very busy and at times very tiring, but they’re also eager to get started because they know how important Christmas is to a store’s long-term profitability.

In other stores, the staff is dreading the holidays. They’re talking about how difficult customers are, how the store hours stink, and everything else they believe is going to be bad about the holiday.

The attitude of the leader is the attitude of the team.


Well-led teams believe they control what happens this holiday. They don’t dismiss how challenging the economy has been for a lot of people, but they also know they have the products and store experience that people will pay for.

Other teams are already preparing for failure. They’ve been told that customers prefer other stores so they just do the best they can. Unfortunately for them, when the bar is set so low the best isn’t going to be good enough.

Staff beliefs come directly from the leader.


This may well be an outcome of attitude and beliefs, but customers can feel the energy and passion from a well-led team. Energized teams have a bounce in their step as they work the floor and enthusiastically welcome their customers into their store.

Not so for the other teams. Maybe they’ll find it when the holiday crowds hit – but if they don’t have the energy now I’m not sure they’ll get it later.

The daily energy level of the leader sets the energy level for the team.


Well-led teams are laser focused on the customer. Their goal is to win every customer who walks in the door, maximize the opportunity, and extend the relationship by setting up the next visit. Everything else is secondary. The holiday is well underway in these stores.

Other teams are still waiting for the holiday customers and are juggling current customers with getting everything ready for the big day. They fail to see that every day is now the big day.

A team’s focus is determined by the leader’s expectations and own actions.

As a leader, all you have to do is look around to see what your attitude, beliefs, energy, and focus are. Your team is displaying them today. I hope you like what you see.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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