Leadership is an essential aspect in generating effectiveness in the field of retail stores. In my case, I have found myself applying different leadership styles to ensure that my followers achieve their defined goals, as well as maximize their performance and productivity. The first style I have applied in the mobile retail store is transformational especially when we had began losing sales by approximately 5% every week and some employees had started feeling insecure about their job security, and, they were seeking alternative employment from competition in case they were laid off.
Due to the dire situation at the store, I had to use leadership skills that motivated, developed a sense of belonging, and stimulated intellectual capacity for effective collaboration to resolve the challenging situation with an end result of improved sales by up to 9% every week. This is the method that I used to evaluate my leadership abilities to handle difficult situations and create positive outcomes.
At times, there were instances when I was required to make some variations of procedures to increase efficiency. Most of the efficiency was required in customer managers and transition processes since their speed meant that the rate of doing business was higher. This is in conformity with business requirement that changes must occur even if they are uncomfortable and some form of resistance ensues. To ensure the changes were adhered to, I used bonuses and other rewards like promotions so that workers could have better productive behaviors.
Results of my leadership skills were seen when improvements in sales volumes, customer flow rate, and introduction of new ways of doing things in the workplace. This is how I evaluated my own ability to influence workplace behavior and introduce new ways of working to ensure that the required outcomes were met. If the combination of the styles had not occurred, the changes could not be actualized and the role of leaders in maximizing productivity could not have happened in the long term.
Another way that transformational leadership was applied in the workplace is when teamwork was required to come up with new sales techniques to increased revenue generation. From the theoretical perspective, this kind of leadership is supposed to give the sense of ownership, challenger follower intellect, and facilitate collaboration. All these aspects were tested during this time where I had to establish a team, brainstorm, and come up with new ways of making sales rather than waiting for customers to make their way into the store. By ensuring this process was successful, it was sufficient to illustrate that my personal abilities were aligned to effective leadership skills that linked classwork and theoretical concepts with practice in real world business settings.
It is a simple rule that emotional intelligence has an influence on individual and other worker’s performance (Achua, 2013). This is governed by the concept of self-awareness where I had the ability to recognize and understand personal emotions, moods, and drivers of performance. Good understanding of individual emotional abilities is what made me have a unique leadership style that maximized employee performance at different working levels and professional challenges. In fact, by understanding my own emotional capabilities and employee emotional aspects, I defined my leadership style to maximize influence, develop deeper relations with employees in the retail store, and act as their role model which resulted into improved performance. I have been able to increase the performance of others by understanding their emotional wellbeing and defining business processes and management schemes that accommodate their emotional needs hence improving the whole productivity in the store.
This kind of understanding improved their productivity because it leveraged on shaping their productive behaviors. Social skills are the other theoretical aspects that I have used extensively not only to improve the performance of other people but also to maximize my own operational effectiveness. As per the provision of Mayer and Salovey’s theory of emotional intelligence, I offered the required knowledge to review worker relations, existing professional relations, and build rapport based on common functional grounds. In the process, I have been able to create an environment of effectiveness in the retail store where change, persuasiveness, and expertise are used to optimize outcomes. Such operational considerations encouraged workers to change their attitudes which was beneficial to the store.
In addition, understanding of the theory facilitated the process of managing and building high performing teams, handling different business activities with positive holistic results. Therefore, the application of these mentioned theories has influenced personal and workplace performance positively hence their relevance in making me an effective leader. Most often, the theory of Goleman regarding ability and trait emotional intelligence was massively applied since it defines the array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance. I used this theory to guide thinking and behavioral patterns that resulted into productive outcomes in the mobile store where workers developed causal relations between performance, job requirements, and reinforcements to adapt to the changing workplace effectively. The subsequent performance is therefore linked to the theory in a way that emotional intelligence was used to shape leadership skills as a construct rather than a personality trait.
The ability to set direction and communicate with others has been an essential management aspect in the retail mobile store, partly due to the need to improve coordination and flow of information. With the rapid changes in the retail space, I was forced to continually define the direction that the organization was moving and clarifying it to others in an effort to ensure that they work with clearly defined roles. I was knowledgeable of all business goals and how they aligned with the overall business strategy. Increasing the ability to set goals, therefore, involved increasing the efficiency of communication with teams, observing their working procedures, and providing regular feedbacks about their working processes especially against defined performance metrics.
Most of the constructive feedbacks and other forms of communication were given for specific, measurable, and achievable goals depending on the capacity of the retail store. The ability to examine the business environment, identify measurable goals, and communicate it concisely is what increased my effectiveness as a leader despite prevalent management challenges. In the process, I have learnt that the ability to set direction, goals, and communication mechanisms is an important leadership aspect that ensures that the whole workplace is efficient, high performing, and flexible to situational changes as the business is evolving. In fact, I have been able to inspire and set what the future of business looks like in an articulated way that all messages propagated are understood appropriately.
The ability to set direction and communicate can be illustrated during implementation of business processes that resulted into better service provision or efficiency. During the sales downturn, some workers began lagging while others worked desperately to save the situation. The solution was to give them clear instructions and how they were supposed to perform their tasks against definitive goals. Communication took place through face to face, phone, and emails. The relation of the theory is that communication was used to give workers direction, report their progress, and at the same time, receive constructive feedbacks to correct deviations as they occurred resulting into the recorded performance and workplace improvements.
In addition to setting direction, communicating, and using different leadership styles, the capacity to motivate, delegate, and empower others has also contributed to making me an effective leader. In the retail mobile store, the delegation has been the assignment of responsibilities and authorities to other people or subordinates depending on their expertise. For the business, there are some who have been delegated to assist customers, receive and make payments, handle store operations, and manage marketing programs. Since these tasks are difficult and challenge professional activities, the most important solution was to ensure that different expert teams worked on specific assignments; and, I as the leader, implemented management techniques to ensure coordination and high-performance outcomes.
With time, I realized that motivation and empowerment were among the elements required to shape the workplace in the direction that I wanted. Through research, I came into the conclusion that most businesses fail due to simplistic mistakes that demoralize their workforce and generate uncontrollable resentment. Therefore, as the leader, the judgment was to come up with simple and cost effective mechanics that maximizes productive behaviors across the workplace despite the existing challenges. Though complex in some instances, the judgment is that leadership is about balancing business and personal interests of workers. When the perfect balance was struck, I was able to develop a workforce that had the capacity to adapt to market variations, job requirements, and challenging factors without losing their morale.
Most difficulties were bypassed through motivation and empowerment of followers despite their workplace impediments. Motivation comes in terms of bonuses, constructive feedbacks, and presentation of positive results to illustrate to everyone that their efforts are contributing to the overall development of the business (Greenfeld, 2014). On the other hand, empowerment is taking the form of professional development and provision of resources that allow workers to perform their personal and professional duties effectively. The judgment in this case is that leaders must create an environment where work life balance exists so that workers can work with minimal distraction. As the leader, this is what has successfully increased my efficacy and maneuverability even in difficult situational conditions that sometimes destroy business functions. In fact, using these techniques has greatly enhanced workplace and people efficiency, and this has been reflected in reported business results.
Personal development and planning have also been considered in my professional endeavors in the field of leadership management. The development is composed of aspiration to develop techniques that maximize personal efficiency, management of followers, and optimal utilization of resources. By being a leader, I intend to transform followers and their composite teams to maximize their productivity despite challenging situational conditions. Achieving such objectives is through implementing structures that encourage collaboration, motivation, and a sense of direction among the involved parties. Another aspiration in the development plan is seeking career positioning at high organizational levels so that I can have more challenging, dynamic, and self-improvement demands contributing to my overall development as per the following plan.