Leadership in Corporate Retail

In the world of retail, things change almost too frequently to keep up with. Sales change, companies are competing for business, marketing teams are doing everything that they possibly can to keep up with the ever changing ecosystem that is retail. When you add the extra level of the fluid and rapidly changing world of technology, the equation gets even more complicated.

John, a corporate manager at an AT&T store does an excellent job at leading his team through the chaos. John has the abilty to connect with his team members and motivate them on an individual and personal level. The formula is simple. Each sales representative has goals to make. If everyone makes their goals, the store stays in the positive. If the store is performing well, John has done his job as a leader.

We can look at pieces from two different theories that are used to explain how an individual might become a great leader. The skills approach and the trait approach are two perspectives that might explain how successful leadership styles are born. According to Katz, the skills approach involves a three skills model. The skills that make up a good leader are technical, human and conceptual (Katz, 1955). According to the skills approach these skills can be learned over time (PSU 532, L03). According to the trait approach people are born with characteristics that help them to be great leaders (PSU 532, L02). In a study by Stodgill, ten traits of great leaders were positively identified.

John seems to posses a some of the innately aquired traits from stodgill’s study. John has the ability to alter social interactions and influence the bahaviors of his employees. These two traits can be associated with the “human skills” third of the three skills model as identified by Katz. Although the two approaches view leadership from different perspectives, they both support the idea that interpersonal human skills, such as the ability to influence individuals and alter social interactions are factors that make up a good leader (Stodgill, 1974).

In an environment that is ever changing, it is important to be adaptable. John’s ability to connect with his employees through his traits and skills help him to remain a strong leader.

Katz, R.L. (1955). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 33(1), 33-42.

Pennsylvania State University. Unit 01 Lesson 02: Trait Approach. Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/

Pennsylvania State University. Unit 01 Lesson 03: Trait Approach. Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/

Stogdill, R. M. (1974). Handbook of leadership. New York: Free Press.


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