3 Tips to Help Ensure You are Day 1 Ready to Serve as a Retail Leader – Part 1
“Congratulations! The team would like to make you an offer…” are the words I remember the recruiter said with sheer excitement after I completed 3 rounds of tough interviews to join one of the largest global retailers in the world. While I was filled with tremendous excitement and pride… I felt a small knot in my stomach. I was happy but nervous. I knew I was capable but was I truly prepared?
25 years later as an award-winning retail leader, I can confidently say yes, I was ready for the challenge. However, I would like to share a few reflections and leadership lessons I have learned along the way to ensure you are “Day 1 Ready to Serve as a Retail Leader.”
The definition of Day 1 Ready is being prepared to start a new venture, job, mission, or task. It is about the work that you do in advance to ensure optimal success for your team or company. On the contrary, Day 1 Ready, is also the conscious decision you make to show up each day and treat every single day like it’s the very first day. It’s about bringing the same level of energy, enthusiasm, passion, and curiosity consistently throughout your time at the company. It’s about leading with intention, making the effort to contribute 110 percent every day, and staying optimistic and fully present while possibly navigating tough obstacles in the future. Keeping the Day 1 Ready mindset has proved to be one of the most valuable keys to success in a competitive, retail leadership environment. But how do you develop the Day 1 Ready mindset?
1. Be Curious
Ask questions. Ask lots of them. Ask them often. My number one tip for success as a Day 1 Ready Retail Leader is to be inquisitive. Take the time to ask questions that will help you learn more about the business. Try to ask questions that will help deepen your knowledge from an enterprise perspective as well as ask questions that will provide insight into your respective functional area. Ask questions to learn more about your team. What motivates them? What are the obstacles that hinder their performance? How can you assist in setting your team up for success?
2. Be Consistent
Consistency could easily tie for the best tip for success as a Day 1 Ready Retail Leader. Being consistent with your performance will yield huge dividends for you in the future. People like to promote people they believe will deliver results every single time. People like to follow leaders who are reliable and trustworthy. Being consistent is a choice. Every day you have to decide to show up and treat the new day, like it’s Day 1, with the same level of energy and enthusiasm you had when you first started the job. You must deliver, over-deliver if possible, on your commitments and motivate the team to do the same. If you are consistent, you will be able to soar as a Day 1 Ready Retail Leader.
3. Be Confident
“With confidence, you have won before you even started.”Marcus Garvey
This is one of my favorite quotes because it embodies the Day 1 Ready mindset perfectly. Confidence is contagious. Confidence can help to motivate others and help to close deals. As a Retail Leader who embodies the Day 1 mindset, confidence is going to set you apart from other leaders. It is about effective communication, whether you are tasked with delivering positive or negative news. Confidence helps to reassure the team that you are prepared to lead.
As you embark upon your journey as a retail leader, I invite you to keep in mind the success profile of a Day 1 Ready Retail Leader. The Day 1 Ready mindset is fostered through confidence, consistency, and curiosity. When I think about my success as well as the success profile of colleagues in the sales industry, these are the traits that have bolstered us to have long, fulfilling careers in sales and will continue to bolster future leaders for years to come. Please follow my blog for additional leadership lessons for sales leaders.