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Ninety Seconds To Successs Series

Furniture World Magazine


The homonyms Insure and Ensure have similar pronunciations but different meanings. According to Webster, Ensure refers to making sure or certain, or to protect. Insure alludes to a contractual relationship to be remunerated for a legitimate claim or to pay monies to protect against loss or damage. Both have meaningful purpose in managing the administrative and financial affairs of retail furniture organizations.

This 90 Seconds To Success Series installment will list eleven progressive and thought-provoking leadership precepts that “Ensure” retail organizations retain positive attitudes and achieve continuous improvement.

I urge Furniture World readers who have an interest in “Insuring” retail organizations against loss and damage to reference Stephen J. Wisocky‘s excellent “Risky Business” series for a complete discussion. Past articles in Furniture World’s “Risky Business” series can be seen at furninfo.com/ Series/RiskyBusiness.

What Good Furniture Leaders Ensure

1. Good retail leaders ensure that although personnel are not delineated on a balance sheet, they are a company’s most valuable asset.

2. They ensure that ethics are never subordinated or compromised to effectuate revenues. When credibility is lost in one area, it is frequently lost in all areas.

3. They ensure that staff members know and understand how to respond and articulate corporate strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities whether they are selling, buying, merchandising, advertising or delivering products.

4. They ensure that they regularly review working capital ratios and trends. Waiting to review financial results until year’s end is a formula that invites failure.

5. They ensure that they plan properly. When leaders fail to plan and are guilty of managing by procrastination circumstances frequently dictate decisions.

6. Good leaders ensure that they understand and respond to changing market trends before rather than after competition has “seized the moment”. The first into a market regularly gains and retains market share.

7. They ensure that they match skills and passion to each specific job. Every associate desires advancement, if not in responsibility, at least in compensation. Promotion based on longevity has merit but results based on performance and skills that are specified in job descriptions produce superior rewards in leadership and performance.

8. Good leaders ensure their associates understand that positive attitudes are more important than facts. Facts change. New opportunities present themselves with regularity if we consider each event as a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block.

William James said: “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.”

9. They ensure that objective fact finding has greater managerial merit than blame-placing when remediation of policies and action are required.

10. They ensure that immediate supervisors understand that loyalty to the organization by associates increases in proportion to the loyalty that supervisor’s extend to them.

11. They ensure that they take the time to review and codify the company mission statement.
Mission statements have merit but frequently are not maximized as a management tool. Regular review by motivating managers ensures that effective mission statements accomplish the following:
  • The corporate vision should be defined in a way so that all associates understand their involvement in achieving the stated mission.

  • Authors of the statement should understand that until and unless specific purpose is defined and measured, mission statements and management policies lack merit and meaning.

  • Leadership should realize that reviewing mission statements and reporting results regularly encourages employee participation and enthusiasm.

Judiciously Insuring corporate assets and assuring that best business practices are Ensured, postures most enterprises for secure employment, positive growth and profitable futures.

Ray Morefield has been affiliated with leading corporations in the housewares, hardware and coatings industries. He has also served other industries in an advisory capacity through Common Goals, Inc. Questions or comments can be sent to him by emailing editor@furninfo.com.