Hardware Retailing

SEP 2016

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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HARDWARE RETAILING | September 2016 8 Independent Thinking T he word "leadership" may be one of the most clichéd terms in business today. It means something different to almost everyone. But, when asked, many of us say the biggest roadblock to growing our businesses is that we need better leaders. What's a Leader? At the risk of adding to the confusion, I'd like to weigh in with a few of my thoughts about leadership. A leader is someone others want to follow. A leader has a desire to achieve a goal, understands that he or she needs the help of others and knows how to best recruit their help. A leader has a strong set of personal values, like honesty, integrity, humility, a great work ethic, a desire to serve, an ability to communicate and a willingness to put others first. "Leadership" without these values is really just manipulation or coercion. Leaders Among Us We seem to spend a lot of time and energy in our industry bemoaning the difficulties of finding "the right people." What are we hoping—that people with MBAs will walk through our doors and apply for an assistant manager's job? Let's be real: We're retailers, many of us in small towns and rural locations, and we hire mostly high school grads at best and pay modest salaries. This is our reality, so let's deal with it. Among our employees, even though they may not have had the advantages of experience or higher education, I guarantee you have some really smart, ambitious people who just never had the opportunity to grow and learn. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, at every level in a business and with all levels of education. Potential leaders are scattered throughout your business. NRHA Foundations of Leadership Course In early 2017, you will have a new way to develop leaders so that you can grow your business. Your association is working with a consortium of leading independent retailers and Ball State University's Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise to design and launch the NRHA Foundations of Leadership Course. This eight-week online course will introduce your employees to the fundamental concepts around learning to lead people effectively. Each week, the course will focus on a new leadership concept through a video presentation, readings and self-reflection. Students will work in a highly interactive online environment, challenging each other to grow. Included as part of the course, but optional, is an invitation to each student and a guest to attend the Annual Foundations of Leadership Conference at the NRHA conference center in Indianapolis at no additional cost. This will be an inspiring two days devoted to networking, learning and being challenged to grow as leaders. Attendees will meet other independent retailers from across the U.S. and Canada, including graduates of the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program and NRHA Young Retailer of the Year honorees. Watch for more information in the coming months about this new NRHA program that will help you build the future of your business. Bill Lee, President and CEO blee@nrha.org " This eight-week online course will introduce your employees to the fundamental concepts around learning to lead people effectively. " Fostering Leadership

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