Company president Michelle Newbery, who leads the team at online home furnishings retailer The Mine (née ATGStores.com), is fast becoming a recognizable player in a very competitive market niche. In the fast-paced world of interior design, where bright ideas often burn out as fast as they’re born, The Mine’s star is on the rise.
And, thanks to this experience and many others, Newbery’s got some amazing tips on how to navigate the executive arena.
She joined the company in December, 2011, as its chief financial officer, and is now spearheading the biggest rebrand in the company’s history as its president. Along the way, she’s also refining the corporate mission and establishing the importance of social responsibility through the company’s philanthropy program, which focuses on community giving and environmental stewardship.
Read her four tips on how to stake your claim in the business world.
POLITE PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF
Just because you get a “no” doesn’t mean it will stay a “no.” And, turning things around doesn’t require being overly aggressive. For me, polite persistence has paid off. I was told ‘”no” when I expressed an interest in being president at The Mine. I had to ask more than once, and I’m so very glad I did. We often have a tendency to stop when we hit a wall rather than trying to find a way around it – or over it.
BE VISIBLE AND ACCESSIBLE
Make sure your team knows who you are and how they can reach you. At The Mine, I meet with each new team member after they settle into their new role to ensure they know who I am and where they can find me. I think the best way to let people know you care is to ask them how they’re doing, and doing that almost always results in great insight into what a person needs to be happy and excel. Everyone feels better when they’re assured they’re part of a great team and that management is ready to help.
FOCUS ON BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS VS. COMPLETING TASKS
How you get things done is just as important as what gets done. I’ve heard people say, “I don’t care how it gets done – just get it done.” But, how well does that set the stage for the next task, or improve the work environment? I find that encouraging teamwork and being aware of others’ needs results in better efficiency and quality.
Our team does an amazing job of going above and beyond when working together as well as with our partners. In the e-commerce space, we move fast and there is no time for egos or attitudes. I absolutely love it when I hear, “Your team was so easy to work with.”
PLAY THE LONG GAME
Put as much thought into your long-term future as you do your daily tasks. Before you commit to something today, make sure it’s aligned to what you want to accomplish tomorrow; in your work, your career and your life. I moved to Seattle five years ago and it was very intimidating in the short term, but it allowed me to immerse myself in the e-commerce space and take advantage of amazing opportunities I would’ve missed had I not made the leap.