This March is Women’s History Month. To appreciate and honor that, Lowe’s is highlighting three of the more than 300 female store managers to shed light on what it takes to be a successful leader. Hear from Buffie Johnson, Cari Alvarez and Kristine Chmura about their experience at Lowe’s.
Q – What qualities make a successful store manager and leader?
A – “What I look for in a leader and what I try to emulate is being humble, honest and dependable. So, do what you say you’re going to do. Back up everything that you say. Make sure that you show up every day and work towards it.” | Kristine Chmura
A – “One of the important things being a store manager is being able to help your associates no matter where you are in the store. It really helps your associates to see you working alongside them, just as if you were in the same position. No one’s better than anybody, we’re all going for a common goal and it really just helps working side by side.” | Cari Alvarez
A – “I think the biggest quality for great leaders is, first of all, you have to be transparent. If you’re not transparent with your team you will never make it, you cannot be an imposter. They have to know what you’re about and what you stand for. And you have to have that emotional connection with your team.” | Buffie Johnson
Q – What are some challenges you face as a leader?
A – “I think sometimes some of the challenges for being a leader are the times you have to have those tough conversations, when you have to be a little bit negative or discipline an associate. (…..) But just being there, because those important conversations matter just as much as a positive one.” | Cari Alvarez
Q – What are the biggest lessons you have learned as a leader?
A – “Probably some of the biggest lessons was how to treat your people, you got to know them, you got to understand them because you can’t lead them and you can’t get them to grow and do great things in their career if you don’t learn what they’re about. It’s not a one size fits all.” | Buffie Johnson
Q – What advice would you give someone?
A – “Any advice that I can give is just to put yourself out there and put forth the effort. Everything I got is because I sat in front of someone and bugged them until they would teach me, show me or do it. If you want to go anywhere, if you want to get anything, just find those people that will help you and stick to them.” | Kristine Chmura
Q – What inspires you?
A – “What inspires me is really my associates. Some of the thing that they go through it’s definitely a lot harder than things that I go through. It’s amazing when you learn their individual stories. We have a lot of associates that go through a lot, maybe at home or with their families and they still come in ad give you 100% every day.” | Cari Alvarez
A – “What inspires me is watching my team grow. Watching my leaders grow in their positions. My team grow. Really them succeeding that’s really what inspires me and drives me every day.” | Buffie Johnson
A – “What inspires me is my team every single day. They are so hardworking and caring and every day that I come in here they inspire me to be a better leader for them and to be a better person.” | Kristine Chmura