16 October 2007

Borders redux

Back on September 30, I blogged about a day that I worked at a sister Borders. I was asked to help get the store back on its feet, after many changes in both staff and management. I mentioned that the store needed a strong leader - something “previous manager was not.”

Apparently, as far as I can tell, this was the most damning thing of the post. Some how, someone from that store stumbled upon my blog, read my post and got upset (and I'll admit, I'm curious how they found this little blog amongst the cazillion others out there). This person then went to GM who must’ve made a comment to the DM who then went to my GM and yesterday I was told about it.

Now, I’m aware that most huge corporations are on the hunt for people who make disparaging comments about the company they work for on blogs. But, as far as I know, I made no comment that showed my company in a bad light. I have an opinion, something in which I’m entitled to, but I never said anything horribly negative.

Now did I know the two previous GM’s of that store, the ones who let (either by choice or circumstance) the store fall apart? No, but after 10 years with this company, 20 years in the book business and 27 years in retail, I know many things. Some things I must put together from conversations, and bits of comments here and there. I can add two plus two and get four.

So, I was much aware that the both of the last two GM’s where unprepared to handle such a store. What I heard from “others” was both wanted to be “friends” with their staff instead of being their boss. Which is where the stronger leader comes into play. What I’ve learned -much like when you are a parent - you must never be friends with the staff (or your kids), as it will lead to your downfall, and the stores.

GM’s need to tough minded and willing to let people dislike them, all for the better good of the store.

As noted, this is my opinion, but I will not apologize for it. There could’ve been -and probably was - many things that lead to this stores problem.

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