Managing through Leadership.

Hello, Patrons of Positivo… 

I want to talk about a manager who is doing a great job. This brings me to today’s blog about Kevin W. the store Manager at Fry’s (#12) in North Phoenix. 

First, I want to say I shop at Fry’s, #12, even though this is not the closest Fry’s store to my home. I do so because I have found competent management and leadership in this store. You see, not long ago, I became very frustrated at the lack of cashiers in this store, and I let management know I would shop elsewhere! The funny thing is, I found out Safeway and Fry’s would soon operate the same way due to a corporate merger. So, I returned to Fry’s in order to find a way to tough it out. It’s actually rather funny that the very manager I said “Goodbye” to, due to a lack of cashiers, is the same manager who has since gone out of his way to help me after I returned. 

Now, I also need to let you know that years ago, I actually accepted a job working for a different Fry’s, one closer to my home. However, I quit after 3 days while I was still in training. You see, I was asked to sit in front of a computer and watch videos to get my “training”. That was fine, except 3 different times, the computer got stuck in the same place and would not advance. The following day, I told the manager what was happening, and his response was, “Just watch it again.” I quit that day.

You see, competent leadership is critical, especially if the financial goal is to move the needle up and to the right. Like me, I’m sure you’ve heard store managers say, “It’s hard to find good help.” Well, I have come to understand that once you find great leadership, good help begins to show up. The only way to be really successful, long term, is to hire great leaders. Employees will go above and beyond for great leaders. Great leaders listen and inspire the best in their employees. 

Additionally, I have taken the liberty of speaking with several of the store employees, and they have confirmed what I already knew. Kevin is not just a manager; he’s a real leader. The employees really enjoy his leadership style, and they feel “heard” and inspired by him.

Speaking of good help….it’s no surprise to me that so many of the employees at this store are pleasant, helpful and “hands on”. They actually make shopping a much more enjoyable experience! Once, Kevin even introduced me to the man who orders some of the products I needed. This was an interactive conversation which better helped me understand the ordering process. He, like Kevin, listened to what I was saying, then offered helpful suggestions. This is the part of teamwork I especially appreciate.

It’s funny to me now, but Kevin, the aforementioned manager I complained to about the lack of cashiers, is the very manager who showed me a thing or two about real leadership. He listened to everything I had to say when I stormed out, and he listened again when I returned and needed help finding a certain product. Kevin knows how to listen. He is proactive and very competent. I know, because I spent many years hiring people with his talent for leadership. I know it when I see it. He’s also the reason I returned to Fry’s and continue to shop there. 

In fact, if I weren’t already retired, I would consider myself fortunate to work with this man. He’s got great listening skills, and he knows how to be proactive in order to get things done. He also knows how to create a win/win. Most importantly, he knows how to engage with employees so they want to do a great job, not just collect a paycheck. Believe me, if I were younger, I’d make it my priority to recruit Kevin W. to run my organization. No question about it!