Self-awareness is a must if you want to work on yourself and move forward in your career development.
How does a Russian, working in an English-speaking company and based in Latin America, create a winning team and carve out a career he loves? By asking a simple question: “How am I doing?”
Sounds simple, but if you don’t ask you’ll never know, or you’ll only know after the fact when something bad has happened.
Make time for each other
So, the first step was to invite the Colombian team to Peru and the Mexican and Argentinian team members for the store opening in Chile. Small steps, but this is how bonding started. It is always easier to talk to the person who you already met in real life. And this became the greatest milestone for us. We started to have more ‘cultural exchange’ trips, both inside and outside of LAM, and also used these opportunities for teambuilding and engaging everyone in our ‘Creating the New’ company strategy.
I demand a lot, from myself and my team.
Sometimes I might be too direct, or even pushy. Neither Spanish nor English are my mother tongue so something that sounds completely normal for a Russian guy might be a bit heavy in translation!
We get over this by constantly asking each other questions; Asking ‘Why’ regularly makes sure nothing gets lost in translation and the more questions asked and answered, the better we understand each other and the better results we achieve together in a collaborative environment.
Evaluate and recognize
If personally I value meaningful and useful feedback, I assume it has similar, if not higher, value for team members. This is why as the leader I use every opportunity to provide feedback or highlight the learnings we achieved: positive and negative. Reviewing them together and finding opportunities, we learn together and grow together as a team.
We share our learnings with other departments to collaborate and to see another perspective. The same goes for recognition. It is highly important for the team’s motivation to highlight the MVP and celebrate achievements together. This is how future leaders and talents get the recognition they deserve and encourages the team as a whole to perform better each and every time.
Would you like to join us?
Now when I look for feedback I want to understand how people view us as a team and about me as a leader of VM: would they like to join us, work with me or have us as part of their team?
The numbers now speak for themselves…seven LAM Visual Merchandising team members have been promoted to new positions inside and outside our department. I hope they carry with them the great self-awareness they’ve achieved.
I’ll continue asking questions and providing my feedback to my peers, reports and managers to keep pushing us all forward.
INTERESTED IN WORKING AS A VISUAL MERCHANDISER FOR ADIDAS OR REEBOK?
Check out the open positions on our careers website and you might get to give or receive feedback from Alex first hand.Join our team