Skill or Will? Either way it comes back to you, boss

Last Spring, I was leading a roundtable discussion group of managers from various industries and we were talking about how to get the best performance from your people. One manager chimed in with “Hire slow, fire fast”. Most of the group acknowledged this comment with knowing head nods and “mm hmm” approvals. That really wasn’t … Read more

Exceptional Customer Service – why your employees are your secret weapon for success

Over 30 years ago, when I started my career in retail as a sales associate at a JCPenney store, the opening screen on our CRT computers showed the company name and the tagline: “Customer Service is our #1 Priority”. I took that phrase to heart. I worked hard to learn what the company’s standards and … Read more

Back to Basics

When I was the CEO of a women’s specialty apparel retailer, one of our board members liked to use the term “blocking and tackling” when we discussed training and execution of operations in our store fleet of 165 locations. His business background was in oil, transportation and construction, which at first glance had little correlation … Read more

How Brick and Mortar Can Survive and Thrive in the Age of Amazon

We’ve all seen the articles touting the doom and gloom state of the retail industry. Their titles read like obituaries: “Retail is dead”, “Major retailers closing stores”, and “The Amazon Effect and the Demise of Brick & Mortar.” Retail’s death has been predicted numerous times, yet close to 90% of all purchases still take place … Read more

Are You Growing or Dying?

At some point in my career I became “the go-to gal”. I was the one who held the knowledge of “how things work here”. I grew to love this unofficial role. My fellow co-workers sought me out for my help and knowledge. Executives in other departments deferred to me to figure out a viable solution … Read more


When was it exactly that life got so darn complicated? Sometimes after a long day, I just want to find something to watch that will help me relax and slow my mind down a bit so I will be able to fall asleep. As I scroll through the hundreds of cable channels, and then maybe … Read more

Are You Connecting or Just Communicating?

Have you ever been in a meeting or a group setting where you shared an idea and no one really acknowledged what you said, but then a few minutes later someone else brought up the exact same idea and everyone exclaimed “what a great idea!”? This has happened to me. I would get so frustrated … Read more