This episode includes a BIG day for Kristin Cavallari. The Uncommon James company is officially moving out of Kristin and Jay’s hom and into its own office. Much to the relief of Jay, who strongly dislikes having people traispe through the house. Can't blame him, I'm also hella protective of my space. And if Shannon came through, I would be for sure sage-ing the effff out of it.
Anyhooo, I digress. Moving into a separate office is a HUGE goal for many entrepreneurs. But, the celebration is quickly overshadowed by the strife between Shannon, the social media director, and Brittainy, the store manager. Of course, we need drama. It's reality TV.
Shannon, who has a very strong, bullish personality and doesn’t like to take direction from anyone (including at times, Kristin), is adamant about maintaining control over her duties. The dynamic between her and Brittainy is a tricky because Brittainy was hired after Shannon. But brought on as her boss.
Shannon is like, "hold up, I was running this before this Philly chick got here." And Brittainy is all like, "girl, please sit your Southern belle non-working ass down. I run this now."
My words. Not theirs.
A situation I can relate to, at least from Brittainy's perspective. My first “big girl” job was as a retail manager at Target earning $42,000 a year. I was twenty years old and in charge of managing a staff of thirty or more people, many of whom were in their forties or older, and had been with the company for several years. Like Shannon, my team had a way of doing things and were sometimes unwilling to take direction from a new person. Much less a younger person.
Kristin has made it clear that is in fact Brittainy’s role to corral Shannon and make sure that she does her job. Which is to curate and post content across the company’s social media channels including Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Fun business insight: Kristin shares that 90% of the company’s sales are driven from social media and is a critical component to Uncommon James’ success.
Although Shannon is really good at her job, she is very inconsistent. Letting weeks go by without posting on Twitter or engaging on Pinterest. Brittainy brings this up and shares some social media suggestions. Shannon is not open to hearing feedback, and retorts “I need to know expectations because I can’t read y’all’s minds.”
Hmmm, perhaps this is where the breakdown is between the two? That neither is clear on the expectations of each other or has clear measurements for success?
In true reality show form, the episode continues the drama and brings it from the workplace to Shannon’s personal life. She and her boyfriend get into a fight, causing him to storm out of the restaurant without saying goodbye.
I am so unbelievably NOT interested in the romantic relationship drama, but I bring this up because the lover's quarrel offers an opportunity for the two women to connect and mend their work relationship. For the time being...
For Kristin and the success of Uncommon James' sake, I hope these two continue to be cordial. Ready for my two cents on the business takeaway from this episode?
My Two Cents
Goodness, managing a team takes a lot of interpersonal skills. As a boss, not only does Kristin have to make sure that the work is getting done. But, she also has to manage the various personalities and the individual needs of the staff. The biggest takeaway I had was the importance of setting clear expectations for employees and understanding what motivates each person. A tool I like to use to be able to manage against tasks is Asana. Also, the book Drive by Daniel Pink is fantastic for better understanding what motivates your team members.
A Money & Mimosas money tip
As you grow your staff, it is important to invest in team building activities. I'm not sure if Kristin is doing this, but if I were advising her, I would highly recommend that she starts. Taking the ladies out on a hiking trip or bringing in a speaker to do personal development training for her staff could make a huge difference. What do you say? What is your advice to Kristin as she grows her business?
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