There is a reason winning sport teams have Coaches, Managers and Team Captains. They have different roles. Coaches strategize, plan, make calls within the game and encourage their teams. Coaches hold the highly-paid talent accountable and set high expectations. Team managers ensure that the logistics of clean uniforms, travel, and equipment is always smooth. They oversee practices and scrimmages. Team Captains lead the team by doing. They are role models and peers within the team. Think about your store and your role as a leader within the store. Which role do you play?
Typically, great store employees (team players) rise to become supervisors or key holders. Truthfully, they have proven themselves to be good role models and play the role of Team Captain. They know how to execute the tasks that need to be done to run a store well. They are trusted and necessary to any successful retail enterprise. But they usually are not prepared to manage a store on their own successfully.
Shops are usually run by a single Store Manager. Perhaps that describes you. With that role, comes new responsibility for ordering inventory, managing vendors, setting prices, hiring and training new employees. Delegating tasks is critical to prevent bottlenecks from slowing down momentum. But for many (if not, most) managers this is as far as their management talent extends. They are capable of running day-to-day operations and balancing all of the crises that comprise running a store. Most stores operate with such a manager or management team for years.
One way to recognize if a store leader is behaving as a manager is to listen to the interaction with other employees. If it is primarily assigning tasks, inspecting completed work and redirecting resources, then the person is acting as a manager. And everyone needs to be a manager at some point in the day. But great store leaders move beyond management to coaching the team to make the entire team better.
Next in this series: how to Coach.