19 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became A Store Manager

The following is a letter I received from my friend and Store Manager – Chris Addison (Store 4615, Glenpool, Oklahoma).  It was so good, I asked if I could share it with you!


There are several things you need to know before walking into your first store.  This isn’t a list of expectations for your team, simply ideas and thoughts for you to think about before you get going…

  1. Trust in yourself, believe in yourself, be confident that you are the best person for the store. People will not follow weakness, they will follow “trust.”
  2. You make the decision every morning on what kind of mood you’re going to be in, and in doing so, you set the tone for the store.
  3. Don’t be so proud you won’t reach out for help or ask questions.
  4. Your new store was a team before you got there and will be a team after you leave. They don’t have to prove anything to you.
  5. Enable your managers and associates to be successful. Find and then eliminate opportunities for failure.
  6. You must have compassion–what is small to you may be huge to your associates.
  7. Have patience and humility. It’s not always going to go your way, they won’t always hit a home run, help build them up so they can.
  8. Believe in and practice affirmation daily. People love to be recognized and told “thank you.”
  9. Listen… Give people (associates and customers) your undivided attention. People love to be heard.
  10. You can’t show your frustration–even when everyone else is. You cannot sit back and complain when times get tough. You have to be the positive force that changes the tide. Negative breeds negative.
  11. Have clear and open lines of communication. Be approachable, or you will get blind-sided.
  12. Teach, learn, and share successes, as well as, failures. Show ownership in the good and the bad.
  13. Being a leader isn’t about micro-managing, and it has zero to do with the title you hold. It’s the ability to make people want to do better for themselves as well as the customer.
  14. As a leader, you have to take a step back from your impulsive, emotional reactions, and instead operate from a place of calm understanding.
  15. True leadership is the ability to communicate with and effectively reach each and every person you work with, in the way that works best for each of them. Note: no two people are the same.
  16. When no-one else knows what to do next, lead by example.
  17. When everyone else is out of gas, your job is to inject more fuel. Never show them your quit.
  18. Do not forget that “different” does not necessarily mean “wrong,” and what motivates you isn’t what is going to motivate everyone else.
  19. Invest IN what you expect to get OUT.