Times have been tough in several sectors over the past few years and retail is without doubt one of them.
Covid, Brexit, continual rise in supply chain prices, a war in europe, rampant inflation, and looming interest rate hikes is something many of us below the age of 40 will have never experienced.
Today's boardrooms are full of people with tons of experience in growing and leading a business, but few on those boards have been through the extreme turbulence of high inflation, rising cost, and increases in interest rates not seen since the 80's - so strap yourself in because things are going to get even more interesting.
People are already adjusting spending habits (yet again) to ensure they can keep the lights on and put food on the table.
I follow a few inspirational leaders on social media, but it seems the majority are still wrapped up in the idea that leadership is all about being a permanent steady rock, being the strong one, having the answers and always projecting confidence.
They think their job is to fill in the emotionally positive gaps, such as providing a steady hand during restructuring or assuaging fears the front line might have.
But as we all know this isn't the reality and above all it isn't really great leadership, all great leaders I've ever worked with (male and female) weren't afraid to show some vulnerability to the employees, and when they did this they became highly relatable.
Because we all have a 'corporate speak' bullshit alert built in, showing vulnerability actually makes them more authentic, and both employees and customers alike tend to relate to them because, well, they are like us.........
The time for leaders to reset the way we think about doing business is most definitely a major immediate imperative.
With repeated headlines around household name retailers in distress we don't seem to be hearing much authentic vulnerability from the leaders of these companies.
Other than telling us that they're closing, they seem to be particularly absent on the 'free to use' social platforms everyone (including employees and suppliers) around the world are now accessing at a much greater rate than ever before.
Blogging via social media and using stories people can relate to can have a huge positive impact on employees, the brand, and consumers alike, but it needs leaders to recognise that showing 'vulnerability' is a strength, not a weakness.