Watching Randy work the floor was like watching Picasso paint. Wait - since I never saw Picasso paint I'm not sure I should make that comparison. Let's say that watching Randy work the floor was like watching Bob Ross paint "happy little trees" on PBS.
Even more amazing is that Randy was a store manager. Like many of his colleagues Randy had worked his way up from sales associate, but unlike most of his colleagues Randy never stopped developing and improving his on-floor skills.
Like most specialty retailers the company expected the store managers to be proficient on the floor. While they didn't expect the managers to be as good as Randy, they did expect them to be able to walk the talk. Most of them did, but every now and then they had to remind a few to go beyond talking.
There was one major problem with Randy. Randy didn't talk the walk. He didn't invest time in teaching his staff to do what he did so well. What a shame. Sure, it's important that all owners and managers walk the talk on the floor, but it's just as important to talk the walk.
Not every owner or manager is a master on the retail floor, but everyone has the experience and skill necessary to talk the walk. If they don't they shouldn't be in a leadership position.
It takes commitment to talk the walk with your staff. It requires time, energy, and focus - all precious resources for owners and managers. But so are your people. As I said a few weeks ago, about the only exclusivity we have in retail today is our people. Our people not only differentiate our store, but a great or Extraordinary staff will create so many more sales than a merely good staff.
A staff rarely develops and grows without strong leadership. Leadership not only requires that you're walking the talk when working the floor, but also that you take the time to talk the walk with each staff member.
So let me ask, are you walking AND talking?