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Jun 10, 2015 | Post by: regangossett 1 Comments

Leadership and Pants

Franco's Fine Clothier Richmond, VA

Franco’s Fine Clothier
Richmond, VA

I was just in Richmond, VA to speak to a company in transition. There have been changes in their industry, they have acquired another company and the C-level leadership wants to promote full engagement throughout the organization. It’s just the kind of place where I love to contribute.

They invited me to dinner the night before and I found myself in my hotel room at 4:00PM realizing that I had not packed clothes suitable for the occasion. What to do?

The concierge at my hotel directed me to a men’s clothing store just half a mile away, so I headed to Franco’s Fine Clothier, figuring that a pair of slacks would get the job done. The only problem was that this really is a fine clothing store, which means that their slacks don’t have finished bottoms. That would be okay, though, if their tailoring facilities had time to hem the pants right away.

Which they did – except that the tailors and all their alteration facilities are in their other store and there wasn’t time for a round trip. That’s when our heroine came on stage and stepped up.

Sales person extraordinaire Gina volunteered to hand sew (blind hem, no less) the cuffs for me while I waited. So I picked a handsome shade of gray from the many options and browsed the shop as Gina did her work. I talked with Mark, son of the immigrant founder of Franco’s and learned that his dad has a 10-year plan to retire – in his mid-80s. Mark learned a strong work ethic and dedication to service from his dad. That’s a major piece of how they attract and retain fine people like Gina and it’s part of why Gina so seamlessly (pun intended) steps up to the plate.

How are you sending the right messages to your people? Do they feel empowered to give their best, to step it up even when what’s needed isn’t in their job description, like Gina does?

She wouldn’t let me give her anything in thanks for her superlative support, but she can’t stop the flowers that are on the way. Thanks, Gina!

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