Hardware Retailing

NOV 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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L eadership comes naturally to some people who choose to make independent home improvement retailing their profession, while other retailers enhance their leadership skills over the course of their careers. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, you can always continue learning from other retailers who have built their lives in the industry. Hardware Retailing spoke to two retailers with decades of experience who recently participated in leadership development programs. Read how they chose their paths and reached their current roles and why they view leadership development as a continual process. Their stories show how relying on other business professionals can encourage up-and-coming leaders and build up the industry. Everyone Starts Somewhere Daren Padgett has a plan for his future. He's worked at Roselawn True Value Hardware in Roselawn, Indiana, since he was a teenager, putting in hours during holidays and summers while he was in college and returning full time after graduation. "I really didn't know what to expect after college," Padgett says. "Everyone teaches you to dream big and move where the jobs are. Then when you start looking for something in your field, you start at the bottom no matter where you go. I knew there was room for me to grow here." Shortly after he returned to Roselawn, new owners purchased the business. Padgett saw this transition period as an opportunity to prove himself and begin a path to a career. "I sat down with the store manager at the time, and we talked about growth that would benefit all of us," he says. "Within a year, I was promoted to manager, and we've had record sales growth every year since, with only a little hiccup around the recession." A fresh endeavor that has already been a great source of growth for Roselawn True Value is its rental department, which Padgett planned and implemented two years ago. Initially, he wasn't sure where to start, but then an opportunity to get vital input from other retailers arose. With the encouragement of storeowner John Morgin, Padgett enrolled in the North American Retail Hardware Association's (NRHA) Retail Management Certification Program. The program is a six-month, college-level management course focused on giving key retail employees additional resources, knowledge and connections to help further their operations. Padgett initially was unsure how much more he could learn about retailing through the course. The opportunity to learn from other retailers and connect with people who already operated rental departments convinced him to sign up. But he didn't initially think he would gain more than rental tips out of the experience. "I realized that all retailers in this industry have the same struggles, no matter what type of business we have, what wholesaler we use or what role we play," Padgett says. "We all have the same drive, but we also have the same challenges. It's nice to see what other retailers have found that works and what hasn't worked." In addition to networking with other retailers, Padgett made connections with NRHA staff and course presenters, who suggested he also reach Share What You Know to Support the Next Generation Pass-Along Leadership HARDWARE RETAILING | November 2018 40 By Melanie Moul, mmoul@nrha.org

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