Did you know that lack of autonomy is the biggest killer of engagement, which is the biggest killer of results?
Empowered Area Leaders who can make critical decisions inspire engagement and achieve the best results. However, the reality for many Area Leaders is that they are not clear about what decisions they can and can’t make when leading their stores. This results in confusion and frustration, decision-making bottlenecks and missed opportunities.
How do you know if your Area Leaders feel empowered and capable of making decisions? Start by paying attention to the questions you are being asked:
- Are these questions that an Area Leader should be able to answer for themselves?
- Are you taking up valuable time dealing with challenges and issues that should be dealt with by an Area Leader?
If the answer is ‘yes’ it could indicate a need for more clarity around the Area Leader role and autonomy level.
Giving Area Leaders genuine spiritual ownership of their region is a win-win
Many senior retail leaders are overwhelmed and overloaded with the changing nature of retail.
They are working hard to achieve budgets in a challenging economic climate. From day-to-day issues to the longer-term strategic focus, senior leaders are in danger of decision fatigue. What decisions are you still making that an Area Leader could make? How could you gain back time by empowering others?
Communicate your expectations and then manage those expectations
As you prepare for the busy retail season as a Senior Retail Leader or General Manager, now is a great time to reflect and reset your expectations for your Area Leaders. This will free you up to get on with making more strategic decisions.
Ensure that you:
- Communicate your expectations and provide the right level of support.
- Create clarity on what decisions can be made by Area Leaders.
- Expect and accept that not every decision is the best one, but this is where Area leaders stretch their skills and build their capability and confidence.
As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”.