Rock Band Rush on Retail Management

OK, so lyricist Neil Peart probably wasn’t thinking about retail management when he wrote the line “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice,” in the 1980 Rush song Freewill. Nonetheless, it has strong applicability in the world of retail leadership. Too often, leaders become paralyzed either by company bureaucracy or by the need to feel 100% sure. In the case of the former, too many obstacles to quick decision-making can cause leaders to miss the opportunity or lose the motivation to pounce on opportunities as they arise. In the case of the latter, waiting until all possible information is gathered and analyzed can have the same effect. And, let’s face it – nothing in the retail world is 100% certain anyway. In most situations, good leaders are better served by getting themselves to 80% comfort and having the courage to move forward from that point. Choosing not to decide is essentially an abdication of the responsibility to manage the direction of the team and the business. So the best retail managers follow Rush’s advice and live by the line, “I will choose a path that’s clear; I will choose free will.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *