Personal Leadership Beliefs

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Doug_FleenerI was recently doing some prep work for a speech I’m giving to the owners of independent stores.

One thing that stood out was the difference in number of Facebook followers between different stores in the same market. One store would have 82 followers, and another store would have 2,082 followers. (This article is not about social media.)

The market and customer base is very similar, so the only difference between the two stores is the owner’s personal belief. Clearly, one owner doesn’t believe in Facebook as a viable marketing channel. I believe he’s missing the chance to connect with his/her customers.

Your personal beliefs are an important part of what makes you a successful leader. Maybe it’s the values your parents taught you about hard work and how to treat people. Perhaps your values come from a leader you’ve worked with or admire.

At the same time, you have to be careful that your personal beliefs don’t impede your success. As in the Facebook example above, sometimes your personal beliefs can get in the way of doing the right thing or connecting with others.

I’ve met leaders who believe that anyone who isn’t thinking about work 24/7 is a slacker, but who never take into account how hard a person works when he/she is at work. I often meet leaders whose staff never achieves their sales potential because of the leader’s belief that selling is being pushy.

As a leader, it is important for you to challenge your own thinking and decisions. Take time to see things from other people’s perspective. I have a friend who says he constantly asks himself, “Why/why not.” He’s his own devil’s advocate.

I firmly believe there is always more opportunity within your store, your staff, and yourself. First you have to look for it. Second, you have to make sure that your own beliefs don’t keep you from reaching them.

So let me ask, do you challenge your assumptions and decisions? There’s a great chance you’re going to agree with what you already believe and do, but every now and then you might discover an opportunity to do something different.

Reprinted with permission from Doug Fleener of Dynamic Experiences Group. A Retail customer experience consulting firms that helps companies improve their customer experience and their sales results.

Aspire MidPage June 19