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Managers incommunicado

meeting, folder, businessRetail needs to purge the errant demeanours manifesting within the glasshouses of ivory towers, feigning under the guise of support offices and management.

It’s a diverse faction, ranging from the smoke blowing corporate stooge to the anal retentive manager. Many of whom lack the courage to venture far without their posse.

Such executives should take the time to visit the engine rooms. To seek the realities of customer experience and the finer points of operational dynamics, refraining from theories devised by the incorrigible ‘yes’ brigades.

The labelling of a new strategy or launching fundamental changes with fanfare, incites both uncertainty and suspicion. Such projects should be introduced with subtle resolve and the smallest of disruption so teams can iron out the deficiencies and discover the benefits for themselves.

A transition is not imposed nor can it be demanded. Implementation and its success are manifested from relevant coaching and the trust gained from long-term mentoring.

Poor lines of communication are commonplace and by all accounts is an over-debated topic.

Technology buffs sell the concept of improved communications where in fact quite the reverse is true. With less personal interaction than ever. Like the children’s party game, every time a message or expectation is shared, its meaning is construed from the perspective of the bearer. Time augments this human idiosyncrasy. The same is true for business where egos abound and politics ensue.

An appreciation that regulation adherence is embedded via a caring culture rather than enforced by a punitive tick-the-box process. Focusing on the employee’s wellbeing rather than the corporate bottom line.

So too the blatant grooming of administrators on social media is less than tasteful and highlights the differentiation between the haves and have-nots. While the plebs slog it out on the shop floor, the elite engages in the distractions of indoctrination and self-indulgence.

The cementing of exclusionary ties may well be nothing more than a perception but therein lies the truth. If every hour is accounted for in-store based on turnover and key indicators are the same values expected and laid out by the titled select?

Managers incommunicado is a self-perpetuated and all too common occurrence, effectuated through fear, dubious placement of skillsets and questionable emotional intelligence.

Great leaders are seen and renowned not because of their intellect, education or good looks but because they resonate with the masses. They identify and relate to individuals from all walks of life and dispositions and above all listen with intent and follow through.

No one is excluded irrespective of their station. Each greeted with personable interest and tactile warmth toward the individual and his or her family.

Be the business. Live the ethos. Add value. Remove the barriers. Embrace passion.

Retail is about people, for people, by the people.

Dave Farrell is a retailer and writer with three decades of experience on three continents. He can be reached at Freelance Alliance NZ on

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