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Review, Renew, Remix |  August 31, 2016 (1 comment)


Miami, FL—I’m back! Summer has been relaxing and fun. The Preferred and Continental Buying Group office has checked quite a lot off the “to-do” list and we’re now getting ready for the fall season.

Hopefully you have mapped out your upcoming season for events, sales, promotions and trunk shows. Trunk shows have been a huge success for my retailers. Now with the help of social media—especially Instagram and Facebook--reaching your customers and beyond to come in and take a peek has become a lot easier.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s start with the basics of getting your staff all on the same page after the dog days of summer. When it comes to employees, one jeweler I truly admire is Brian Alter of Alter’s Gem Jewelers in Texas. We were going over topics that could be discussed in our next Roundtable meeting, and he spoke to me about how he makes his associates accountable. I really liked his approach so I did a little research on my own and this is what I found…

First, when managing a team, focus on results. Whether your job involves managing hundreds of people or leading a small group, you’ve been hired to perform that job based on what you KNOW not by what you DO. If everyone on your team shares the same vision of where you’re going (this is pertaining to the owners) you don’t need to control every step of the journey. If everyone operates using the same basic values, they don’t have to do things exactly the same way you have always done things in the past.

Brian said, “Give people room to experiment, grow, and develop their own skills. You probably have learned a lot by experiencing your own failures, so give your people the same opportunity. If the goal is to climb to the top of the mountain, don’t insist that everyone use your brand of climbing gear and stick only to your trail. Some may choose to climb up the way you did, others may choose a parachute from a higher elevation! It’s all good as long as you end up in the same place.”

Ok, I’m listening now! Here’s what I found to be the secret:

Focusing on outcomes isn’t just a gift to your direct reports. You owe it to yourself as well.

Micromanagers who never learn to mentor or delegate generally become so overcome and overwhelmed that they fail to reach their own potential as leaders. Results matter, so focus on RESULTS.

Sometimes it’s just not in your power to give people free reign or exactly what they want, like a raise or extra time off. But, allowing your employees to blossom and grow will really benefit you in the long run. With that comes another responsibility, which is to treat people the way you would like to be treated. Respect, honesty and kindness work wonders. Whether it’s taking someone out to a gourmet dinner, gifting them a massage or letting them know they have spinach in their teeth, letting them know they’re appreciated goes a long way. I know this may not sound like me, but I’ve learned the hard way.

I’m sure you all have had to let an employee go at some point in your career. Remember to be empathetic about what they are going through. Try and do for them what you would want for yourself. Yep, back to the “Golden Rule”. It may be just giving them a moment to process the news or privacy to collect their thoughts. Most of us learned some version of the Golden Rule at some point in our lives. It still holds true and especially for anyone who supervises others.

As Labor Day comes and goes, let’s all think about what our year is going to be like. It’s time to review, renew and remix!  —Andie 

Andie Weinman, president and CEO of Preferred Jewelers International / Continental Buying Group Inc., was born with the “Jewelry Gene” working in the jewelry industry since she was only ten years old. Her first job was as a cashier in the opening of a catalog showroom doing a fantastic job even at that tender age. Andie holds a B.A. in musical theatre and a B.S. in marine biology from The University of Tampa. When she realized that seawater and marine biology were not good on her hair and she wasn’t quite good enough to make it on Broadway, the jewelry business beckoned. Andie has picked diamonds, sorted color stones, shot waxes and performed a multitude of jobs in the manufacturing of jewelry.  Her negotiating experience and prowess has given her the reputation as being tough but fair in her dealings with vendors. In 2012 the Indian Diamond and Color Association awarded Andie the Prestigious Doyenne Award of the Year.

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Comments (1):

Thank you Andie.  I am honored and complimented.

By Brian Alter on Sep 2nd, 2016 at 3:03pm

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