Better to be Humble

Blog #110 Better to be Humble

In Blog# 109 I talked about if you fail to plan you plan to fail. In this blog I want to talk about how and why its better being humble.

So I was on a good roll with my results for this department. I usually had good visits when Corporate visitors came down, as I always prepared for them and quite honestly, we were pretty much always ready anyways. Just like everyone we had our moments but always rebounded well.

So we finished the year strong again, I think Southcoast ended up beating us this year though. At the beginning of the year we just finished our annual inventory and I get a call from Jack, who headed up the shoe area for the entire company now. He was the shoe god for sure. He was highly respected in the shoe industry and somewhat feared too. I always got along with Jack and never really had a bad visit. If I got a little overbought, maybe I’d sense his displeasure with me, but all in all good.

“Mike, There’s an opening for a women’s shoe buyer in Palo Alto and I want you to consider it. It’s been struggling for a while and we sure could use you over there.” I was extremely flattered. I respected Jack a great deal and for him to call me from Seattle was an honor. “Scott should be calling you sometime today” “Just think about it…” Okay I get it, he was priming me to say you are going to transfer…Still an honor…

Later that day Scott called me. He was the RMM (Regional Merchandise Manager) for the city region and Palo Alto was one of his stores.  I asked him all the details about how the company would move us as I had kid’s to consider too. My house was the other question. The market was down so I could potentially lose money if the company would pay me out based on the appraisal. I decided to rent the house out until the market got better.

The Bay area was expensive to live as well, so we were probably looking at renting a house at first. I decided to go down to the store to check it out. I met the store manager Nora. She seemed really nice. She was dressed to the nines and carried herself well. We had a nice chat. She did tell me the department had been struggling for a while and I had my work cut out for me. That should have been a red flag but I was so confident in myself I thought I wouldn’t have a problem turning it around. I was about to be humbled…

It’s one thing to be confident, but being full of yourself is another thing. I have always carried myself as a humble person but the success I had at Arden Fair made me a little too cocky for my own good. I would find out that everything I learned from Kid’s shoes and Brass Plum shoes would be needed to turn this around. Problem was, I forgot that it takes many things for a department to be successful not just a “good buy”.  I would soon be reintroduced to all i’ve been taught over the years…

…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career. 

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