Updated: Jul 16
Leading with heart is the greatest value I hold. I will always observe and listen before taking action. So what happens when this kindness is taken as a weakness?
Drop the hammer and pull rank!?
Shock horror, right?
But this is the cold hard reality of day to day retail! I've seen it, I've lived it.
Until leaders become better at coaching people around mindset mastery and how to manage their own emotions, the same people will continue to manage and 'rule with an iron fist' often controlling Managers up the chain.
Team attitude is a direct reflection of the leadership - if the leaders are pushy, chances are the store (or office) has a fear based culture. Regardless of what the company values poster says!
The person in your store with biggest influence over your teams is the leader.
How many times do you need to repeat yourself, try a different strategy and have more 1:1 conversations before the end person actually gets the thing and delivers?!
How much is too much - where is the line drawn?
I learnt this when I worked in the Middle East.
One of my bosses literally said to me 'sometimes, you'll just need to drop the hammer'
So, this is what I did, a few times.
Am I proud of that? I don't know. It made some people move, it got results. But, I was left feeling dis-jointed from my own values.
Take the emotion out of it then you're developing into a power hungry tyrant and THAT I did not want to become!
Has anyone ever dropped the hammer on you?
Lit a fire up your a$$?
Have you done it to someone in your team?
The way I see it is this:
Dropping the hammer is more a reflection of your own shortcomings
It should only be ever used as a last last resort
I once needed to investigate a grievance raised because a leader had dropped the hammer, in the most outrageous way!
This leader had said "Your work is sh*t, you are shi*t, you don't deserve to be in this role"
In one sentence his entire career unravelled, reputation in tatters.
He dropped the hammer in one of the most shocking ways!
The ironic thing is, the person on the receiving end went on to deliver better standards, raised his game and results improved! Maybe those words stuck around in his mind and this gave him the push needed to inspire a change.
We are complex humans and what works for some, doesn't work for others.
There is of course a flip side to this method.
Sometimes people just need to hear the truth - and this can be uncomfortable. So what do you do when you've exhausted all the options? Blow your top? Shout? Get personal?
You'll only know when you come to that point.
So if you get to the trigger moment, you're on the verge of exploding, ask yourself this:
Do I drop the hammer on them or do I drop it on myself to force a change within?
Kindness always wins and I'm happy to say that my hammer is back in the toolkit gathering dust. Where is yours?