A colleague of mine who works in retail related the story of a new department manager who had management experience, but little retail experience. I have seen this happen in the past, and it always puzzles me, for a couple of reasons:
You have a leader who has no idea of how the business works. Just because someone knows how to hire and fire, it doesn’t mean they know anything about retail. I witnessed this in the restaurant business, where a manager was hired who knew nothing about restaurants (well, he probably was a waiter at one time, weren’t we all?), and proceeded to anger the staff at busy times by walking into the back and asking “What can I do?”
My philosophy is, if you don’t know what needs to be done, you have no business being a leader.
This can also affect the morale of staff. The thought goes something like: “why is this guy the boss? He doesn’t even know what needs to be done”
And yes, I realize that you don’t have to know everything about the operation to lead. But you do need to exude the confidence that you can lead, so that your staff does not feel like they are the ones running the show, and you are making all the money.
To your success,
Robert B. Wallis