*This is part of our “Leaders We Love” series. Learn more about it.
My journey as a store leader began as a General Manager at a retail store in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Coincidently (or not), Maya Angelou’s home is in Winston Salem. Maya is a quintessential woman: essayist, entertainer, activist, poet, professor, film director and more – she even guest conducted the Boston Pops orchestra simply because she felt like it! She’s written more than 20 books, wrote and recited a poem at a Presidential Inauguration ceremony, won a Grammy, has been nominated for a Tony Award, and directed a film. She’s also a down home cook and makes the kind of food that you want to take a bite out of, and then tell everyone all about it.
The first quote of Maya’s that I carry with me is, “Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” She has taught me that I will make a sweeter life for myself and for those around me if I am always present in the moment. At The Container Store, I strive to create an environment where I am always present. I provide an environment where my employees are safe, secure and valued for who they are and what they bring to the team.
The second quote is, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This has been one of the greatest influences in my life and my career as a leader. I have the ability to enhance peoples’ lives and influence individuals that surround me to do the same. At The Container Store on Lexington Avenue in New York City we have the unique ability to touch so many people’s lives and make them feel special. I strive to ensure that the experience each person has at The Container Store as a customer or employee will not be forgotten.
Jill B., General Manager, Lexington Avenue Store