This is a fascinating article from Business Insider about the demise of Sears. I highly recommend it b/c it is so interesting and b/c there are so many great lessons about how NOT to run a business.
Sears is fascinating in general b/c it was such an iconic brand and department store for so long – over 100 years – and it is now almost worthless.
Note to Millennials – Department Stores were large buildings that people actually visited to buy things…before the internet was invented :).
In any case, Sears is now run by an egotistical billionaire who seems determined to repeat every business management mistake in the book. Here are a few:
- He has no buy-in for his vision for Sears as membership/tech company (true story).
- He is an absentee boss, running his company from his South Florida Estate. He rarely visits stores or corporate HQ.
- He doesn’t listen to employees or managers, who are in the trenches.
- His culture is far from safe. He yells often and inhibits effective feedback.
- He has no trench experience of his own. He is a brilliant asset manager with a Yale education and a Goldman Sachs background, but he has no retail experience.
- He doesn’t focus on core business – retail. We have seen distractions disrupt many businesses, including JVM.
- He has a huge ego. This damages his relationships, prevents him from getting and seeking the help he needs, and from giving credit where credit is due, among many other things. I highly recommend Ryan Holiday’s short and excellent book – Ego is The Enemy.
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