The headline—15 Traits of a “Terrible” Retail Leader—is bound to get your attention.

SUCCESS magazine recently surveyed members of the Young Entrepreneurs Council to find out what qualities terrible leaders seem to have in common. From dismissing ideas other than your own to having a poor communication strategy, the list runs the gamut of issues we hear about all the time in retail organizations.

It’s quite a comprehensive not-to-do list, but what makes for a successful retail leader?

Here are four critical defining factors that we’ve identified from our experiences in the field and through our national retail research studies:

  1. Ability to Motivate: Valuing potential over experience
  2. Ability to Inspire: Through open and constant communication and feedback
  3. Empathy: It’s not about you; it’s about how they’re feeling—and your ability to pick up on important cues
  4. Involvement: Collaboration is what Millennials expect and what makes for better relationships, both internally and externally

The cautionary tales are helpful. They catch our attention and may be what’s needed to jar us out of complacency. But it’s also useful to have a path forward.

For more ideas on what makes a great boss, check out this article: 10 Habits of Well-Liked Bosses.


About MOHR Retail

For more than 30 years, MOHR Retail has developed the critical people-to-people skills needed to create results in the retail industry—and we’re just getting started. Through innovative classroom and online learning methods, as well as our ongoing national retail research projects, we continue to stay on top of the trends so we can fuel the success of specialty stores, chain stores, outlets, catalogue retailers, department stores, and more. Nowhere does learning meet experience as it does in a MOHR Retail training program.