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Why Leadership Is Important for Jewelry Retailers

By Tim Malone

Posted on April 22, 2012

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Leadership is necessary for every manager in the jewelry industry. Today’s 21st-century managers are required to develop their own processes in order to influence their employees to accomplish stated goals and to direct the organization in more cohesive and coherent manners. Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Jewelry leaders carry out these processes by applying their leadership knowledge, talents, and skills.

Let’s take a look at J.C. Penney’s new approach to leadership from Ron Johnson.

“We are transitioning J.C. Penney from a culture based on management to one based on leadership. We are going to operate like a start-up. We are going to extend the reach and span of control of our very best talent. We are going to be nimble, quick to learn, quicker to react, and totally committed to realizing our vision to become America’s favorite store.”

Jewelry managers must be capable of maintaining their leadership position even when there is heavy opposition. Sometimes it is necessary to delete popular items with employees and replace them with items that are more sellable offerings to the customers attracted to the store. When controversy occurs true leaders are capable of displaying remarkable leadership potential by providing guidance and direction necessary to support the interests and needs of both employees and customers.

Warren Bennis stated: “I used to think that running an organization was equivalent to conducting a symphony orchestra.” But I don’t think that’s quite it; it’s more like jazz. There is more improvisation. Jewelry managers need to leverage authoritativeness, influence, command, effectiveness, sway, and clout to maintain and expand their influence as leaders.

According to Kenneth Boulding, “The meaning of a message is the change which it produces in the image.”

Here is a collection from an unknown author that helps managers better develop their own leadership style:

  • The six most important words: I admit I made a mistake.
  • The five most important words: You did a good job.
  • The four most important words: What is your opinion?
  • The three most important words: If you please.
  • The two most important words: Thank you.
  • The one most important word: We
  • The least important word: I

Dr. Tim Malone served on the faculty of GIA for several years. Well known for his presentations at industry conferences and events, he now consults jewelry companies on how to offer sustainable competitive advantages, more effective differentiation, and sales, marketing, and merchandising management performance improvement. He can be reached at 760-305-7977 or at netvalue@cox.net.

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