12/06/2010

Ministry Lessons From the Retail World: Part 3...

For the first two posts in this series, click here and here...

I've been at my retail job for a little over a year now. All the while, I've been hunting for another chance to work full time in ministry. But, as I've done that, I've been careful to not let this opportunity that God has given me in the mean time pass by without soaking in everything I could from it. So, any chance I could, I've paid attention to leadership, training, organization, and management so that, when I do find another ministry job, I'll have some more tools at my disposal.

At the beginning of this month, our store got a new manager. To be honest, a lot of us were nervous about his arrival. Not so much because we were territorial and didn't want to allow someone new into our zone, but because we've been working really hard to improve things for the past few months. And the thought of someone who hadn't lived that with us coming in and not appreciating it was pretty scary. But that hasn't happened...

In fact, he's been great. Not to mention, really different from our last manager. Since starting, I'm not sure he's been in his office for longer than five or ten minutes. He's spent most of his time on the salesfloor. I've seen him straightening products, cleaning, pushing carts, helping guests, fixing prices, and talking with a lot of the team members. Now, is that because we don't have the staff for that? Nope. It's because he's doing something that is absolutely essential for a leader to do...

You've got to get face time with those you're leading... Anyone who's ever held a leadership position can tell you that the first year or so is super important for two reasons: 1) You've got to get the lay of the land, and 2) You've got to get to know your team. Face time helps you do that. But what about once you get past that first year? Face time helps you stay connected. Now, there are some two hundred team members at our store. So will it be possible for him to get to know everyone? Nope. Will it be possible for him to even know everyone's name? Nope. But it's still important that everyone see him and feel like he's available to them. You can't lead people who feel like you don't know them. But more importantly, you can't lead people who feel like they don't know you...

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