The power of being ‘with the guests’ pays off for Target

target logoOne of the key aspects of being a great host leader is spending time ‘with the guests’.  This is not the moment of being in the spotlight, standing up, being important and speaking to everyone.  It’s the time when we can go around, meeting people individually, hearing what they have to say, connecting with them.

One CEO who knows the power of this kind of activity is Brian Cornell of Target.  On a recent blog on, we discover this:

“Target CEO Brian Cornell makes frequent visits to stores around the country, often going alone and unannounced, shaking hands and getting to know people, as well as using his astute powers of observation to see how effective Target team members are in connecting with their guests. 

These visits have given him a clear understanding of his new organization and what needs to be improved. It also led to what he termed “the most difficult decision of my career” — to close his predecessor’s ill-fated foray into Canada.

Not only did Cornell have multiple business analyses prepared to search for a way forward, but he also visited nearly empty stores the week before Christmas and realized that Target’s efforts should focus entirely on the lucrative U.S. market.”

A great idea from Brian there – host leaders know how to ‘get out’ of their offices and ‘get under’ the hood of what’s really going on in their organizations.

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