What makes a leader a strong leader? Across the board, and especially in the convenience store industry, successful leaders are multi-dimensional. They understand that they need to master every area of their organization. Operational vision, staffing, communication, and training are among their top priorities.
Executing Your Operational Vision
Strong leaders know how to execute their plans, mission, and vision. They understand that operational success requires a team effort, and they know how to inspire their teams to work toward a common goal. Benchmarking, accountability, and celebrating achievements all contribute to the team’s overall success.
Assembling a Strong Staff
It’s been said that a leader is only as strong as its weakest team member. Leaders should always strive to strengthen the skills of everyone on their staff, and the easiest way to do this is by hiring the right people in the first place. Strong leaders are always recruiting, and they set the standard for service excellence during the interview. Using open-ended questions, great managers find out what makes interviewees tick before they offer them a job.
Strong leaders know that effective communication at every level is critical to their operation’s overall success. Successful managers know how to overcome the biggest barriers to effective communication by mastering these skills:
- Communicating clearly.
- Maintaining a consistent message.
- Overcoming language differences.
- Actively listening.
- Tuning in to non-verbal cues.
Getting New Employees on the Right Track
Employees are most willing and excited to learn during their first few weeks on the job. Strong leaders run an effective orientation program to set new employees up for success. Using blended learning strategies, new employees go through critical training on compliance issues and operational procedures, as well as job shadowing and mentoring. Ongoing skill assessments ensure new hires are progressing toward their goals.
Training to Develop Leadership Skills
Just as leaders must work to continually develop their teams, companies must invest in developing their leaders. Ongoing leadership and development training will support your strongest leaders and lift up those working toward leadership positions.