My flight home from the CBA convention is always quick, no matter the length of the flight, because it’s a time that’s always important to me. I hold a brainstorming session between my thoughts and my notepad. Reviewing workshop notes and conversations that I’ve had with industry colleagues is vital.

Sue Smith, CBA Chairman

Chick-fil-A senior executive Dee Ann Turner taught one of the best workshops I’ve ever attended. The author of It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture, Turner drew people in with her years of experience overseeing corporate talent. She shared vital wisdom that she has learned from her own success:

1. Invite Opinions and Perspective

2. Be an Advocate

3. Allow Failure

4. Create a Clear Path

With the amount of staff transition that a retail store has—and I had experienced plenty of it in the past year—I knew that No. 4 was my store’s problem. I wasn’t creating a consistent and clear path of direction. The sluggish results over the year had been a lack of ownership by my team. The slow erosion of the compelling culture that I knew had once marked my business was in motion. Upon returning to work, my purpose was clear to me: I had to get my team all on the same page.

Vision and Mission Statement

Our vision wasn’t precise and our mission statement wasn’t in front of us every day. We all knew in a general sense where we were going and how we got here, but we had nothing specific to hang our hearts, skills, and energy on. Creating these statements helped clarify our path.

Corporate Communication

Meeting once a month as a staff has helped us stay unified on policies, procedures, and training, but this is also the best time for staff to hear from leadership on the heart of the business. The many details of running a Christian store cannot override the time set aside to focus on the “why” we run such a store.

Working Together

Most of all, serving on the sales floor beside my team is the best way to communicate a clear path. What can’t be taught can be caught. Serving our guests together makes our work more unified.