What are the leadership skills that major retailers need to be cognisant of or be displaying?
It is always important to demonstrate a high level of initiative when leading a major retail organisation. Being proactive can not only help in identifying new opportunities, but it can also act as a safeguard in potentially difficult situations.
Another vital leadership skill is the ability to remain composed under pressure. When you’re leading a team and a difficult challenge arises, it’s important to be able to function in an effective manner.
Being able to communicate clearly and methodically is also an important leadership trait. To be successful in coordinating a team of employees in an effective manner requires an ability to have strong communication skills between yourself and your staff.
Do major retailers here make enough ‘big’ decisions when it comes to testing market conditions? (More or less I am interested to find out if major retail companies here attribute wider economic events as the reason for poor performance when they could be making more effective decisions at critical times – whether this is relevant to the $70 billion that Deloitte are saying could be gained)
The level of performance of all retail companies will always be dependent to some extent on current economic conditions. When the economy is performing strongly, it is natural that most retailers across the board will experience strong performance. Likewise, during difficult economic times, retail businesses find it more difficult as consumers look to spend less.
That said, there are always things that retail businesses can do to try and mitigate the negative effects of difficult economic times. It is important for business leaders to be able to adapt to changing economic conditions with clear strategies that are able to be executed easily and effectively.
How important leadership is for businesses of all sizes as we transition to a services-led economy?
Leadership skills are vital in managing Australia’s transition to a services-led economy. I know there are many economists out there who are concerned about the shift from high-paid mining jobs, to lower-paid and part-time jobs in the service economy. It is estimated that about 3 jobs in the service sector make up for 1 job in the mining sector, with regards to income. This means that even though new jobs are being created, we are not getting the boost to household income that you would normally expect from strong employment figures.
To ensure that these new jobs generate as much income as possible for employees, requires strong business models that maximise business productivity.