Experience. Hands on experience is very important, there is no replacement for experience in any field or industry, because it has really stand as real world test of skills, prioritization, interpersonal abilities, risk taking and sometimes endurance.
The place of experience in any field cannot be put aside, trust me that which looks like a fresh problem is what someone has somehow or somewhat encounter.
Though experience maybe sometimes overprescribed. A decade or two is an excessive amount of time in most roles especially, today. It is important as a manager in any industry especially food industry to wear a lot of hats and not stay under a hardhat or hairnet always. Experience is the best teacher as they will always say, nobody stays long on the scene without learning from the past, form both mistakes and what makes for success then.
- Risk Taking. Don’t dare success, if you are not ready to take risk. Though this may be more difficult these days due to different corporate structures, but not withstanding this is one of the key of being a great company, with a lot more carefulness and experience risk taking is very advisable. Always remember that power is not given, it is something you take.
- Fight Mediocrity. The only thing average means is the best of the worst and, and the worst of the best. Don’t be deceived by that ideology of being on average level, you can always hit it high and even higher, it is only by your decision to stand against mediocrity, if you will dream at all, then what is stopping you from dreaming big, to be a successful manager in any field especially in the food industry you really to take a tough stand against mediocrity.
- Stay focus on Customers. Many have ruined many businesses with the inability to focus on their customer. And many chains are really struggling despite long held market share, and excellent data. A produce retail veteran Bruce Peterson share more light on who a Marketer and a Merchandisers, he made know that a marketer talks about sustainability and fair made while a merchants talk about the customers experience, this made Merchants more closer to the customer than the marketer. Part of the consumer experience is about marketing sustainability and making sure farmers are treated fairly. Educating consumers on farming practices of suppliers also goes a long way to build trust in the consumer about modern, efficient, sustainable practices. Learning about farmers help builds connection to consumers and de-commodities growers and retailers.
- Share information with stakeholders. One of the greatest career disasters is hoarding information and building silos internally, there is no point hoarding information because shared information helps find mutual benefits, make a deeper trustful relationship with suppliers that can always lead to better information sharing.
- Promote by merit not paper. In a public company, Peterson argues, leadership is motivated to promote senior management based more on educational and resume credentials that actual experience. A great candidate on paper should also have the street credibility to back it up before being flung into a senior role at a public company.
- Understanding Supply Chain. Volunteer, visit stores on your own time, make sure you get involved with industry associations, or simply call up a supplier or customer and arrange a visit or even just chat about the industry from their perspective. There are a lot of decisions need to happen quickly in a company, building a deep understanding of how decisions will affect other stakeholders is a critical assets.
- Spend time with the competition. Spend time carefully looking at your competitor’s stores, look at what they are doing, build good professional relationships with competitors as Peterson recommend that is one of the greatest key he employed. “You are more similar to your competition that to your customers. Your workday is more similar and you face similar issues.” So why not maintain a decent professional relationship.