Why the most important asset is people – Blog #152

Why the most important asset is people – Blog #152

Why the most important asset is people


Blog #151  I talked about How two Tom’s made a difference. In this blog I want to talk about Why the most important asset is people

I’ve found in my career that one tenet is always coming up. It came up in my early days  and followed me every job since. The thing about this is I really didn’t fully realize it until after the Palo Alto job. Blake Nordstrom actually said it to me once. “People are the most important asset.”


Lessons from Martha


Martha ran a tight ship as I said earlier in Blog  #44 & #45. It was amazing the respect she had from her team. They weren’t afraid of her, they just really respected her.


She had high expectations and followed through on everything she said. How many times have you ever said you were going to do something and then let it slide? She didn’t, she was meticulous on every expectation she set forth. And to this day her department was the best run department I’ve ever seen. Very impressive and tons of respect.




So I move on to other floors and the kid’s experience was pretty much a re-introduction to management with buying thrown in the mix. I was fortunate to have Gail there in my first buyer job as my coach/Mentor. She was great with people as she showed empathy and compassion. She was also a great role model.


Arden Fair


The Arden Fair experience was amazing too but here’s where I stumbled. We did so many things right and had great results. My mentor Rob had a big influence on me on how I bought shoes and maximized items. I developed a great team and had the most fun I’ve ever had at Nordstrom. I stumbled because I didn’t realize it was because of the team I put together. Yes, I put it together and I made really good decisions on the mix and such. But I didn’t bring the people piece until Half way through my time there at Palo Alto.


Needless to say my life would have been much easier. Don’t you hate it when you realize something after the fact? I ended up leaving the store better than I found it which was another Nordstrom saying but still.


Valley Fair


Now I’m in Valley Fair, Older, wiser and have a good weapon at my fingertips. I now get the people thing. Good news is I have five superstar salespeople but I need more than just them to carry us. We had another good salesman named Lance in Salon so probably just need one more for them. Goal would be to get 2-3 more good salespeople in Women’s shoes too.


Felicia Decides to leave the company so I promote my 2nd Asst. Chris to that position. He was a hard worker and we got along great. We started interviewing people the following week Felicia left.


Paolo & Luca


Paolo and Luca were two guys we interviewed who actually were brothers. Luca was pretty intense but in a good way, Paolo was more reserved but had  a trait I really liked and thought eventually he could be an Asst. for us.




We hired both of them. Right after that I got two phone calls from Palo Alto. One from Mohana who was my superstar Easy Spirit salesperson. He had the best results I had ever seen from someone during the Easy Spirit event so thought he’d be a great addition to our team.




The second person was Adrian from Salon, He had an amazing fashion sense that I thought would be great for our floor. Plus if he was going to survive the Corporate Pacesetters we had in Salon he had better be strong. He was…and then some. He had an attitude about him which exuded confidence. He was perfect and a great addition. Plus the bonus with all of them was I really enjoyed being around all of them.


It might seem like a broken record but it’s so important, People are the most important asset. Its different in each store and you have to decide what type of people will best round out your floor too. Then there’s the Asst. mix. Strong managers are imperative in making sure your expectations are followed. The last thing is you need to treat everyone with respect too or it doesn’t work.

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

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