Synopsis of an article from Chief Executive by Dale Buss, Published 1st July 2020
This article interviews Stew Leonard, CEO of the Northeast Grocery Chain and learns from the practical changes he put in place for the US group as the pandemic has transformed how people work.
“No one ever really gets tested until a crisis happens,” Leonard told Chief Executive. “Then some people rise to the occasion. It’s like when people are going through tough times in their life: Some friends avoid them, but others knock on their doors and say, ‘How can I help you?’”
Leonard explained how his store managers and leaders worked to build trust with customers and with staff. They did this by continuing to trial ideas and communicate the best practices as they went.
Leonard established a number of principles for his team and shared them across the leadership team with an ‘informal scorecard’ to track and measure performance in this new way of working.
“Can you pull the trigger in a crisis? You’re really out there with no data, and you’re wondering if you should do something – and you’ve got to make the right decision about doing it without approvals from everyone.” That’s what happened with some store managers’ decisions to put up plexiglass at checkouts. “I was delighted to walk into the store and see that,”
The best leaders keep the team well informed and communicate, communicate, communicate.
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