There is not a day that goes by that I don’t hear from loss prevention professionals all around the world, asking how they can become better leaders. How do I get promoted? How do I achieve the goals I set out to become?
Today’s success is focused on Umair Khan a former LP Manager promoted to a corporate manager of risk and investigations with a well-known retailer. Umair wanted like a lot of young professionals to take the next step in his career while he was an LP manager. He wanted more responsibility, a larger territory, we wanted to have a larger reach and be able to help people succeed.
What I found out about Umair very early on was that he was passionate about people and actually enjoyed being around people. But he did not know how to apply that in an environment where it was all about investigations, apprehending shoplifters and monitoring for employee dishonesty. Umair, said he didn’t have the best of relationship with his store manager, and staff only talked to him when he initiated it.
So we talked about what is important. I had explained that all great leaders understand that the single most important factor in any organization is people. They can help us or often hurt us the most. There is a funny thing about people, they want to be cared for, treated with respect, know that you are interested in them, and how you can you help them. It is really easy.
It was funny to ask him what he knew about his store manager. He laughed and paused with a look on his face, which would scare most. It was a sign of bewilderedness.
So I asked Umair the following questions:
- What does he like to do outside of work?
- What is he passionate about?
- What motivates him?
- What does he want to accomplish in his career?
- Does he have a family?
- What challenges does he face?
Umair responded with “Wow,” I don’t know any of that. I shared with Umair at that time, that “you must first learn how to speak to the heart before you ever ask for a hand.” That made sense to him as the store manager never wanted to do anything for Umair.
Well over the next few weeks, Umair spent time getting to know the store manager, with small talk. Umair found out he wanted to get promoted, he felt he didn’t gain recognition for all the things he does, and just wished someone noticed.
A week later, Umair saw the store manager helping a customer, doing something that was just up and beyond. Without a moments notice or though, he jumped into action and knew that “this needs to be shared.” He crafter and email and shared it with the district. Soon it spread throughout the whole store. The operational staff, regionals and even corporate staff where emailing Umair; some of which he had never met, telling him thank you for the recognition.
The next day the store manager approached Umair and said “THANK YOU,” no one has ever done that for me before. Umair said, “You deserved it.” A light went off, and things changed. Umair took this approach with every employee. Soon everyone was calling him on tips, helping him out when he needed it.
Well it all comes down to Umair in the backroom looking for some missing TV’s the store manager asked what he was doing and he explained to him the situation. The store manager took the inventory sheet and said to Umair “let me do that for you my friend.” Instant change! Going from a relationship with a store manager that didn’t know he existed to helping become his greatest allies.
Well do I even need to say, Umair was promoted two times over the next few months and now is working out of the corporate office helping to influence the entire organization.
Umair is an inspiration to us all that shows us how quickly things can change if we just focus on the people around us.