What Makes A Successful Store Manager?

achiever change management leadership leading change

*Amendment: After reviewing our feedback forms and internal discussions, the title of this NBDA Super Seminar should have been “Manager Profile Trends In The Bicycle Industry.” While it is clear that our research has shown a pattern of behavior and motivation traits amongst our sample group of 100, falling outside these traits does not preclude success. Equally, falling within these predominant traits does not ensure success. The key takeaway is that the knowledge of where your managers, your sales staff and you reside in the BaM Analysis will provide you with a much deeper understanding of how to communicate more effectively.

Introduction: Before we get to the specifics of what makes a successful store manager, let me give you some background on the recent work we have done. One of the services we provide our clients is a BAM Analysis. “BAM” is short for Behavior and Motivation. It’s a 20 minute questionnaire with no wrong answers. What it provides is an incredibly accurate picture of what your behavioral traits are and what motivates you.

Over the past two years, The Mann Group has been assessing managers who have attended Mann University. We have been able to compile the information into the industry’s first ever benchmark study. Understanding BaM allows you to identify the key behaviors and motivators in managers that produce success in your retail business. We now have the first ever benchmark study to work with.

Our belief is that the manager is the single biggest influence to the success of your retail store.

A Quality Manager = A Successful Store

If a great manager creates a great store, then a bad manager creates an unsuccessful store.

Understanding the tendencies of your industry managers is KEY to having a successful store.

Managers need to be able to wear many different hats everyday: scheduler, counselor, salesperson, buyer, merchandiser and on and on. A manager that can balance these hats and do it well creates success.

Not only do managers need to wear many hats, they have to have these core competencies developed in everything they do:

1. Creator
2. Producer
3. Survivor
4. Integritor
5. Team Builder
6. Entrepreneur

Hats and core competencies don’t mean anything if managers can’t understand first how they like to give and receive information and what motivates them. Once this is understood, the managers can develop an emotional intelligence to direct and work with others.

“People rarely get fired for incompetence. It’s not getting along that is almost always the underlying reason for dismissal.” –Stuart Margulies

A BaM Analysis helps people identify their preferences when it comes to:
a. Communication style
b. How to make decisions and process information
c. How to approach a task
d. How people view their world

It is important to understand that BaM identifies areas of strength and opportunities for development. There are NO right or wrong answers.

This is a diagram of your brain. The left side of the chart are those people who are analytical and numbers-oriented when they talk. The right side represents creative people. This begins to create confusion when a left-brained person begins to talk to a right-brained person using numbers, facts and figures. And so the challenge begins when it comes to communication.

What BaM does is drills down even further to look at the individuals by breaking the circle into 4 quadrants, D.I.S.C.

D = Drive
I = Influence
S = Steady
C = Compliance

This chart gives us more words to help us understand they way that people approach their communication still depending on how they like to give and receive information.

After doing the study on 100 managers in the bike industry, we found the majority of these managers fell into the “C” quadrant.

What does this mean? Remember there are no RIGHT or WRONG quadrants! Here are a list of some famous High C’s:
Al Gore
Diane Sawyer
Spike Lee
Mr. Spock
Jack Nicklaus
Kevin Costner
Allen Greenspan
Isaac Newton
Sherlock Holmes

All successful people. All High C’s. It is up to the owner of a retail space to understand the tendencies of a High C to then help develop these behaviors. And it is up to managers to understand themselves first in order to create emotional intelligence in themselves in order to be able to direct the success of the business.

High C’s Characteristics:

Need for Procedures.
High C’s strive for stable and orderly life and tend to follow procedures.

By the Book.
High C’s are very aware of and sensitive to the dangers of mistakes and errors and prefer a professional disciplined approach to problem-solving.

High C’s prefer to compete with themselves, always striving toward better ways of doing things.

Precise and attentive to detail.
High C’s are data gatherers. They will gather all possible facts (maybe too many) related to specific problems.

Proof and evidence.
Little or no proof will not fly with the High C.

How do you begin to recognize a High C? High C’s tend to be introverted and very task-driven. They are direct and critical when they are giving information and their biggest emotion is fear of making mistakes.

High C’s are very slow to buy. They are concerned about the effects of change and they avoid conflict. They are very good at setting safe goals with little risk. In their office, they decorate with graphs and charts and everything is in its place. They follow rules by the book. When they are standing, arms tend to be folded and they tend to walk in a straight line. To relieve, stress they want to be alone.

The value of a High C on your management staff:
Objective thinker
Maintains high standards
Asks the right questions
Pays attention to small details

Motivating a High C:
Operating procedures in writing
Safety program
To be part of a quality-oriented team
No sudden, abrupt changes
Reassurance that the job is being done correctly
Information and data available
Time to think
Objective, tough problems to solve
Owner who follows company policy

Managing the High C:
Involve them in defining standards that are undefined
Involve them in implementation of the standards
Clearly define requirements of the job and expectations
Allow opportunity to finish the task started
Set goals that have “reach” in them
Encourage their contribution in meetings
Involve them in the long-term planning
Train them in people skills and negotiating
Respect their personal nature
Do not criticize their work unless you can prove a better way

As an owner, at this point it is important to look at your management staff and understand who is a High C. Carefully examine your communication strategies and motivation techniques to see if there are areas requiring change and be willing to be the one who adapts.

As you meet new potential managers for your retail store, use the descriptor words above to notice those who may be High C’s. Begin to adapt your behavior and your interview questions for greater communication in order to gain understanding in specific areas where this person has the skills, behaviors and core competencies that you need in your store.

The second half of the BAM Analysis is made up of the Motivators. It is one thing to understand how your manager likes to give and receive information, it is another to understand what motivates your manager every day when they wake up. All motivators have a unique impact on both a person’s career and personal life. A motivator is a way of looking at life, a mindset and an influence on every decision we make. Motivators determine what we perceive positively and negatively in life. We see the world through the window of our motivators.

Your manager’s strongest motivator will influence your decisions and will have a MAJOR effect on the decisions they make.

It is important for us to first understand each motivator individually; then we can look at what the benchmark revealed as the top motivators for the 100 bike managers who took the BaM. The list is in no particular order.

GOAL: Discovery of truth and knowledge
DRIVING FORCE: To utilize cognitive ability to understand, discover and systemize the truth.

If theoretical is the first or second motivator, this person has a passion for knowledge and the discovery of truth. Their natural curiosity about the world is limitless. They find themselves asking questions about a variety of topics, even if the questions may be completely off topic from the situation at hand. They are always interested to learn more about topics they are not familiar with.

GOAL: Utility and what is useful
DRIVING FORCE: Every investment made needs to have a greater return in time, talent and/or resources.

If Utilitarian is the first or second motivator, their actions will be driven by investment and return of your time, talent or resources. There is almost always a little voice in the back of their mind asking, is this the smartest way to utilize my time, talent or resources?

GOAL: Appreciation of the subjective experience and self-actualization
DRIVING FORCE: To enjoy and experience the beauty around oneself and allow it to mold oneself into all one can be.

If Aesthetic is the first or second motivator, this person’s actions will be driven by a passion for form, harmony and beauty within and without, extending to their clothes, possessions, surroundings and experiences. Concerns about the environment will be very important to this person.

GOAL: To eliminate hate and conflict in the world and improve the well-being of others.
DRIVING FORCE: To invest one’s talent, time and resources in helping others achieve their potential.

If Social is the first or second motivator, this person has a passion to better humanity, to invest their time, talents and resources in helping the world become a better place. They will find a tremendous fulfillment and value of life as they pursue social type activities and careers. They may not understand others who are not as giving.

GOAL: To assert self and be victorious
DRIVING FORCE: To advance to the highest position in life and gain the greatest power; lead and direct others.

If Individualistic is the first or second motivator, to this person life is a chess game. Advancing their career and moving themselves into leadership positions will put them on a positive course. They will have a passion to control their personal life and direct the lives of others.

GOAL: To search for and find the highest value in life or the greatest system for living.
DRIVING FORCE: To pursue the highest meaning in life

If Traditional is the first or second motivator, they believe they have found a system for living or even a rulebook that will lead them and others to the highest meaning in life. They will tend to reject beliefs that do not fit their systems

What does this mean? Studies suggest that over 50% of the workforce may be in jobs that are not suited to who they are and what they value. A study from California suggests the number is as high as 90%. If your manager’s career is an extension of who they are then they will love to go to work on Monday morning because their environment will be providing the value they need in order to achieve their maximum potential.

The BAM benchmark revealed that the top motivators for the bike managers are Theoretical and Utilitarian.

Managers in the bike industry are motivated by:
1. Discovery of truth and knowledge
2. Utility and what is useful

Giving them the ability to learn and grow in their position and time to understand the how and why is very motivating to these managers. Also, every investment made needs to have a greater return in time, talent and/or resources.

Apply this information to the High C and you have an individual who is precise with information and has calculated moves with resources.

Please have your manager take the complementary BAM Analysis today!


Great Mann Group content, right to your inbox.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.