A few weeks ago I was speaking to a group about leadership; one of my favourite subjects!  One of the characteristics of effective Leadership we focused on was Enthusiasm. I'm not talking about running into the office or your stores and high-fiving everyone, every day. I'm talking about the type of enthusiasm that inspires people to want to achieve their goals.

At this conference I had the opportunity to speak to front-line leaders as well as the store operations team from Head Office. I truly enjoyed working with these teams; however, I'd like to share one of my observations with you.

The Head Office team was the least enthusiastic team among the group.  They were very effective managers and spoke very diligently about systems and processes that they are working on to support their teams, which was great, but something was missing.  A spark.  Energy.  Passion!   I thought to myself, “How can this type of Leadership energize the front lines?”  The reality is that it can’t.

I'm here to remind you that an Enthusiastic Leader is not a nice thing to have, it's essential to the long-term success of your organization. 

Just think about what an Enthusiastic Leader does:

  • Is always upbeat about achieving goals, not always focused on problems. Problem Solving is part of the job but not the focus.
  • Keeps everyone focused on the bigger picture, the mission, the vision. It is always a part of their communication, even when talking about operational tasks.
  • Is authentic, true to their values and never compromises them. Their values are consistent with the organization’s values.
  • Is spontaneous and takes the time to do special things for their team.
  • Is unselfish; always puts their people first.  Has a strong desire to see their people succeed and celebrates their teams’ accomplishments.

(Does the above list sound like the type of Leader you’d like to work for?)

Bottom-line, Enthusiastic Leaders have people who deliver more because they want to win with and for their Leader.

Linda Montalbano is a true retail operator with a history of leading large retail teams to success. If you need a fresh perspective on what's going wrong in your stores, Linda is the one to tell you like it is and come up with a solid game plan to turn things around!

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