QSN What basic and advanced leadership skills does Hot Topics CEO, Betsy McLaughlin, exhibit? How effective is her use of those skills? Leadership can be termed as a process of getting things done through people. It encompasses several aspects, among them possessed by Betsy McLaughlin. She is consistent in promoting what her company stands for, to an extent that what was done several years ago still prevails today.
This way, people come to know what to expect of her and thus creating an alignment that is really critical to the company. Her passion for the job, an attribute recognized both by employees and clients alike, inspires followers to take on new challenges. This enables her to build an extraordinary team that feels the passion about the company and connect to the vision. It generates the energy that breaks the inertia, makes her go an extra mile as she celebrates her success.
Even though her position is such a major undertaking, she is very positive about the challenges of growing concepts and the entrepreneurial spirit that comes with tackling emerging concepts. Instead, she sees them as opportunities. This notwithstanding, Betsy is very accessible both to customers and followers. She would take their questions and have intellectual conversations with them about the strategy for the company. This equips her with a confident mindset as she takes full advantage of her work force and clientele. No wonder, negative emotions have no place on her way to success.
Courtesy of the prevailing great open working environment, Betsys unusual leadership fosters a unique corporate culture arising from fierce loyalty of employees. It kind of increases employees’ energy and makes them feel as though they are working from home. In relation to employees, she has promoted a culture recognizing employees for their contribution towards the realization of organization’s goals and vision. The policy of hiring from within means that as people progress as they bring the culture with them into the company headquarters.
She did not hesitate to do away with one of the most common icons of modern corporate culture, working from different offices. Instead, everyone sits in one big room, share space and collaborates as a team. Keeping a pulse on the culture, they believe, is directly attributable to the kind of space that we all share on a daily basis. This open-door culture means that there isnt the usual emphasis or hierarchy. She appreciates that this is a major contributor to an improved coworkers comfort, security, and a feeling of belonging.
Through empowering employees to freely make decisions, she has facilitated acceptance of new ideas and boosted the levels of trust with her followers. This atmosphere has contributed to a stable workforce and a healthy bottom line. She now finds it easier to manage her team because she has invested in the people. Managers have been given the responsibility of fostering creativity by initiating product development team responsible for company products, and also a trend and forecasting team to help the buyers to have a cohesive vision.
By accomplishing this mandate, the team will improve the Hot Topic experience for both customers and employees. She has allowed the managers to express their ideas and invest themselves in company goals so as to enhance both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Provision of such benefits as perks, cell phone discounts, health fairs, massages on site, reimbursed associate scholarships, rewarding employee of the month as well as encouraging practices that are in line with company culture has increased productivity and given employees a great deal of satisfaction.
She further utilizes the principle of empowerment through the provision of positive feedback in instances where creative ideas are presented. Consequently, employees understand that company growth is directly beneficial to them and their best work is needed for this growth. Open communication has been key to Betsy’s leadership endeavors. The day-to-day communication network between the buyers, associates, store managers and her has really inspired many stakeholders in the business. Training & Development has been facilitated by the state of the art programs for employees under her leadership.
This is evidenced by the existing 8-hour culture orientation that focuses on how to handle job. In the process, followers spend time understanding their customers and defining how to exceed their expectation. Their customers and staff have developed a happy and loyal attitudes. This is because every new endeavor that Hot Topic undertakes provides fun opportunities, not only for new employees, but for existing employees. References: Howe, W. (1997). Leadership education: A look across the courses. In Leadership education 1996-1997: A source book. Ed. Freeman, F., Knott, K., & Schwartz, M.
Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership. Rost, J. (1991). Leadership for the twenty-first century. New York: Praeger.