Leading the Pack: 5 Expert Tips for Pet Store Owners

Want to become a better leader and enhance the performance and operation of your pet store business? Sought-after global leadership keynote speaker Scott Lesnick has you covered. And did we mention he’ll be presenting at SuperZoo 2023? Here’s what Scott had to say about how you can improve your leadership skills and pet store management.



5 Ways to Grow Your Leadership During Times of Change  

Leadership is an acquired skill you build upon throughout your life. It takes instinct, vision and guts to lead well. There are many ways to improve your leadership skills and effectiveness. Here are five methods you can follow to become a better leader and yield remarkable results for your pet store business.


1. Connect With Your Staff

I’ve done extensive training and presented across organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. I’ve seen how some of the best leaders lead — and it’s by connecting. Getting to know your staff pays off massive dividends because it grows trust. Particularly following the pandemic, which redefined what work looks like for many people.

There’s one question above all others that workers want to hear from their manager: “What can I do for you?”

It signifies a desire to help, a willingness to listen and builds understanding of where individuals are at any given point. Doing this well and having answers to assist takes practice. It takes creativity. It may also place more on your plate if you decide to take something off someone else’s. But no biggie — because this is what great leaders do and will only improve your pet store management.


2. Admit Mistakes, Fix Them and Move On

Most of us want our leaders to admit they messed up, regardless of the situation. It takes the awkwardness out of the room, allows for things to be corrected and enables us to move on. That’s right — we move on, let it go and get back to work.

If you don’t do this, consequences will follow, like the spreading of rumors, being ignored, not receiving valuable information, loss of respect and more. Damage that can last for a long time. Plus, it isn’t good for your reputation, either, and your pet store business will ultimately suffer.


3. Understand and Champion Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

DEI and generational understanding take work — and leadership should constantly be putting in that time. Today’s workplace demands that we understand what DEI is and that we show that we walk the talk, i.e., support all staff.

The benefits of doing this are many, and our employees talk. It makes sense that giving them reason to speak positively about managers and leadership benefits everyone and can increase productivity, retention and revenue.

Consider these stats from Zippia:

  • 79% of employees will quit due to a lack of appreciation.
  • 83% of organizations believe it’s important to develop leaders at every level of the company, but only 5% of businesses have implemented leadership development at all levels.
  • 78% of business leaders actively and regularly focus on engaging with their employees.
  • Only 48% of employees view their company’s leadership as “high quality.”

There’s plenty to explore here, and I’ll touch on the value of DEI more in a bit.


4. Become a Better Listener

This is a theme that permeates the conversations during trainings and Q&As. Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, and more and more Baby Boomers (and even Gen Xers) are leaving. That means the feelings of millennials are growing in importance for organizations.

It’s critical that companies listen and respond to the problems voiced by this generation — and that they are seen by top leadership. Sometimes, it’s venting without need of a response. Other times, it is a conversation that needs to happen. Create a better environment and culture for your pet store business by listening to your employees.


5. Just Be There 

Being available and present is essential. Individuals who are ready and able to face challenges head-on are looked at as true “leaders” by staff. 

  • Disengaged employees had a 37% higher absentee rate, suffered 49% more accidents and made 60% more errors at work. A disengaged workforce cost more than most companies realize. Boosting engagement and having the right management team in place pushes companies toward successful outcomes.
  • One in two (50%) people state that they’ve left a job at some point to get away from a bad manager. There is a huge number of people who are reporting that they’ve experienced a bad manager. It begs the question of how many employees have allowed one bad manager to force them out over the course of their career.

Being a successful leader and bringing true leadership to your pet store business takes effort, training and skills that are developed over time. Doing this saves time and money and will grow retention and productivity that adds to your bottom line.



The Benefits of a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce 

Going back to DEI, the benefits of championing a diverse and inclusive workplace are far-reaching. As with most pivots at work, true change must be given the green light from the top to stick. When done right, workers should feel the positivity flow throughout the workplace and cultures and ethnicities should be lauded, recognized and appreciated.

Here are some other benefits of promoting DEI: 


1. Retention of staff and attracting new candidates.

These are essential to your pet store business’ stability, growth and success. Word spreads both verbally and on the internet in minutes. If your business is “cool and open to all,” you’ll attract more potential employees. You’ll have a larger hiring pool and many of your existing staff will appreciate working for an organization that "gets it!"


2. Productivity growth.

Discussions grow, perspectives change (hopefully for the better) and relationships between departments strengthen. This will lead to an increase in productivity and business. 


3. Less stress and better health.

An organization that is working hard to be diverse and inclusive creates a healthier, safer space for employees. And an employee that feels good about showing up to work often means fewer sick days used. 


Embracing one another’s talents, experiences and knowledge promotes acceptance, builds stronger relationships and further solidifies our roles as leaders. Because that’s where it should begin — top leadership firmly supporting a DEI workforce, day in and day out. And when combined with connecting, listening, admitting mistakes and being available, you’re setting yourself, your employees and your pet store business up for continued success. 


About the Author

Scott Lesnick is a global leadership keynote speaker presenting at SuperZoo 2023. He delivers powerful keynotes and educational sessions at 30+ events a year. Scott earned his Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association — only 12% of speakers worldwide have this designation! He’s also a Certified Virtual Presenter.

Scott recently presented at TEDx. He’s run the equivalent of 2X around the planet — that’s 50,000 miles! In addition, Scott spent 24 award-winning years leading sales teams at Shaw Industries, a Berkshire Hathaway Fortune 500 company.

Scott served as the Academy Dean for Professional Speakers and the National Speakers Association. He is a graduate of the University of Miami, Florida. His memoir Kidjacked – A Father’s Story, and his book Lifejacked: Life Lessons on Leadership, were published to critical acclaim.

Learn more at www.scottlesnick.com.


Meet Scott Lesnick at SuperZoo

Don’t miss Scott Lesnick at SuperZoo 2023! Catch these sessions that are designed to capture your shoppers’ attention and entice them to buy. For more about SuperZoo's leading education program for pet retailers, see the complete Education Schedule and Pricing. Registration is now open, and it's FREE to register in advance for qualified retailers, distributors, and pet services. 

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Learn more from pet retail experts at SuperZoo 2023, North America’s largest pet retail event! Register today at www.superzoo.org. 



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