We all hope for the Perfect Day in retail. Spacious shops with reasonable rents, smokin’ hot high profit merchandise and an engaging sales staff ready to sell to a steady flow of wealthy and credit-worthy shoppers. We’d have stocked distribution centers with outgoing orders and incoming P.Os. Our handsome and above average delivery team would drive shiny new mechanically sound trucks fully fueled with $1.88 diesel fuel. Every shopper would become a customer, and then a raving fan who would spread our name and virtues to ten of her friends.
If you are lucky, you got to experience all the above in a single day. But odds are that you’ve never had 90 (or even 30) perfect days in a row.
The Good News: It’s that we need you! If you are a manager or supervisor, or interact with the public, enjoy those rare perfect days. But know that if every day was perfect, your employer wouldn’t need you!
Leaders lead their team above the exceptions. Top-line creative managers provide flexible solutions that smooth our imperfections. Like the shopper who wants to negotiate price, or a short-staffed sales force, or the 595 FICO customer who needs 12-month financing.
Leaders hire, train, and coach RSAs who work within the company guardrails to provide out-of-box answers resulting in sales. Leaders hire operations people who CAN when others can’t. They lead their teams to provide an amazing show and remarkable service to every shopper, despite the potholes along the way.
Revolutionary Evolutionary Philosophy: Don’t believe it when you hear “Only the Strong Survive”. In the business world survival is not based on brawn, it’s based on the mostly likely to adapt. Business leaders that guide their teams to adapt through changing times and invent a new path are winners in difficult times.
There will be Perfect Days ahead. Yes, some days are good, and some days are bad, and that’s the way it is. Celebrate the good days, they aren’t happy accidents, they are a result of your planning. Know that most days Murphy’s Law will apply “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. On other days O’Reilly’s law will rule the day “Murphy Was an Optimist!”
You’re not alone on the imperfect days. Chances are good that your competitors are have the same Murphy/O’Reilly experience that you are.
Knowing that the road is rocky and filled with twists and turns should help you set the environment for creative ways to adapt to the next imperfect day.
Gordon Hecht is Senior Regional Manager/Strategic Retail Group at Serta Simmons Bedding and a regular contributor to YSN. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.