January is always a great time to reflect on the successes and challenges of the past 12 months as goals and expectations are set for the coming year. Simply put, January is a clean slate that offers 365 days of opportunities.
Not only are you a leader for your customers, but you are leaders to your fellow associates as well.
During the past several Exchange Post articles, and more recently in my monthly “Taking Care of People is Good for Business” messages, you may have noticed a focus on the need for us to further develop our competencies as we improve ourselves to be even more effective. People who have the best competencies have what I like to refer to as the “It Factor;” they exhibit traits that stand out from the crowd. Whether assisting customers, setting a planogram, managing a refund or developing a new program, we all contribute, but it is those who make the ordinary extraordinary who raise the game of everyone around them. These are the people with the “It Factor” who take the time to invest…
EVP/COO Dave Nelson made his first official visit to the Pacific Region. Awed with the dedication of associates in mainland Japan, Okinawa and Korea, Nelson said he was proud the hard-working Pacific team was part of the Exchange family.
In May, many of our teammates had the opportunity to hear Melissa Stockwell present at the Express seminar in Orlando. A highly decorated Soldier who was injured in Iraq on April 13, 2004, Melissa lost her left leg above her knee to a roadside bomb on the streets of Iraq.
Customer service is a topic any worthwhile organization takes seriously. A company may have the best product selection at the best prices, but a poor customer experience can undermine all of that in one interaction.
In my last Exchange Post column, I talked about our legacies and the lasting impact we make on those around us. Building a legacy takes time and, fortunately, we have the tools to help not only develop your professional legacy but also grow personally.
What will your legacy be? If you think about it, the vast majority of our associates know the policies, programs and requirements for completing their duties. Why then are some more effective than others?
My responsibility is to ensure our people have the resources they need to meet the objective and are on track. We have tremendous talent at the Exchange who often have the best ideas, so I need to get out of their way and allow them to run with it.
I remember that day in 2006 when I was named to my dream job: chief operating officer of the world’s greatest retail organization. My “work bucket list” included many things I wanted to accomplish as the Exchange’s senior civilian leader: increase earnings, build future leaders, boost productivity, improve customer and associate satisfaction, control inventory, take care of our people. Now that I am winding down my 44 years with the Exchange, I can safely say that I’ve accomplished everything on that list, thanks to the hard-working managers and associates in the field and dedicated teams at headquarters. All of you have made my job much easier. A look back over 10 years as COO I’ve seen us accomplish many things…