2015 RLPSA Conference: Day Two

Day two of the RLPSA conference kicked off with an outstanding keynote presentation by former NFL pro-football star Eric Boles. Boles, now the president of Game Changers, Inc., brought his A-game with passion, high-energy, and humor in a session focused on leading change in a new reality. With some great advice and with so many great takeaways from this session it is difficult to sum up one key point – so instead, we will offer a few of Eric’s insights:
When measuring performance and good performers, remember to evaluate performance by what you are up against. If you have what appears to be a great leader in a well-performing market, would they prove to be as great in a market where things are tougher? If you move that leader to a more challenging area, will they have the same impact and drive positive results? Eric also reminded us that it’s easy to be great one day and bad another, but it’s much more difficult to be consistent. Eric also offered an excellent comparison between the NFL and the business world: In the real world, if a person does not perform well, they may lose their job. In the NFL, if a player does not perform well, it’s the coach who loses his job. Imagine what kind of leaders we might be if it was on us to make sure that our people succeed…
When talking about “potential” remember that to release potential, you have to give responsibility. We only see someone’s true potential when we push them into situations where they have the opportunity to be great. Much like an athlete trains and pushes hard to improve, so too must we push ourselves and each other to take on the additional responsibility to gain performance, endurance, and consistency. Create a standard of excellence—and strive for it.
When was the last time you did something for the first time? People fear failure, and as a result they just tend to keep doing what they are “comfortable” with. Eric suggests redefining failure. Rather than looking at it as “I tried and I failed”, look at it as training. If you make an attempt and it does not give the results you expected, learn from it. Reposition, try again, and continue to work hard until you get the result you are looking for. Like an athlete training for a competition, it’s the continued practice and exercise that brings the positive end result. And as leaders, embrace mistakes—use the experience to better the team and drive towards future success.
Finally, while there were so many other fantastic takeaways from Eric’s presentation, he left the audience with a great concept he called the Informal Frequent Feedback Tool. Here is how it works: Whether it be with your boss, your team or your family, ask this one question: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how am I doing with ______? (where the blank represents the task, issue, or relationship). The response you receive is not nearly as important as what you ask next. Assuming the number is not a 10, regardless of the number you hear in response, you then ask, “What would make it a 10?”. This is your action plan—telling you what you need to do and how to optimize your performance as a leader. You will notice the word “frequent” is in the title of the tool. This is because it is meant to be used often. Too often we rely on “annual” and “quarterly” reviews and feedback. This tool allows you to check in as often as daily; providing the direct feedback necessary to course correct and perform at your absolute best.
Eric set the bar high, displaying an energy level that would be maintained throughout the day. That same energy was shared throughout the various presentations that ranged from safety to interviewing; and set the tone for some great breakout sessions as well.
In the general session, Linda Zaziski, Safety Director for National Operations with Little Caesar’s Enterprises and Mike Keeler, Head of Safety for Bloomin’ Brands provided ”A Ticket to Safety,” leading the audience on a safety journey with case studies and regulation examples that brought the common thread between Safety and LP objectives to light. While both are purposed with protecting assets, civil liabilities and life safety, the differences are most often seen through the high level of regulatory complexities at the federal, state, and local levels—and even within corporate directives. With an average of 78% of the systemic reasons for accidents in the workplace being the result of unsafe acts and therefore behavior based, Linda’s experiential training approach at Little Caesars has proven very successful.
Instead of the typical paper audits and surveys, Linda and her team provide task-based interactions. For example, rather than using an audit checklist to pose, “Do you do this task?” Linda and her team will take a hands-on approach, asking “show me how you do this task”. The result is an action-focused strategy that provides immediate feedback and course correction where needed. Mike added much to the team presentation with a great review of regulatory compliance examples, advice for OSHA inspections and posed a key question—“If a location is not having any accidents, is that an accident?” Mike then suggests further inspection of that success to better understand the process in place so that it can then be replicated in other locations. Mike also offered great advice on leveraging other teams and resources in your locations to help collectively drive the safety message, perform audits, and provide feedback. This not only includes your operations teams, fields leaders and LP people in the stores but vendors who frequent your stores and who can also provide feedback and information from the front-line. If they are in your stores, why not leverage that?
Gene Ferraro, Chief Ethics Officer of Convercent, Inc. offered examples and insight into his Investigative Interviewing Method with a seven-step process for completing an investigation and a presentation focused on key tips for success in obtaining and securing an admission. Gene also noted that the overwhelming majority of initial detection methods for identifying criminal activity occurs through tips. He suggests that if you do not have a solid hotline / tip line strategy in place, you had better get one.
The afternoon breakout sessions focused on Conceal and Carry law, Workers Compensation and a law enforcement panel with local and federal representation. The law enforcement panel stressed the importance of collaboration and offered suggestions on how to partner with your federal, state and local police agencies as well as local crime partnerships and ORCA’s (organized retail crime associations) to help combat crime and increase effective results. One key piece of advice also centered on camera placement. By repositioning cameras or adding to existing systems by using wall mounted and door frame mounted cameras, we can expand our perspective to include more than overhead views and ensure clean facial imagery for better crime resolution.
There was additional opportunities at lunchtime and in the afternoon to interact with the solution providers supporting the conference in the Exhibit Hall. In the afternoon, raffle winners were also announced in a charity raffle that raised money for the Three Square Food bank in Southern Nevada. Annually, this organization provides more than 24.5 million pounds of food and grocery products—the equivalent of more than 18.8 million meals to nearly 600 Program Partners.
In the evening all attendees travelled by bus to The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas, which showcases the notorious battles between organized crime and law enforcement over the years. At this event, the RLPSA also announced its first RLPSA Standard of Excellence Award winner. While a group of select finalists were chosen for the final evaluation, in the end, the judging committee chose Jennifer Schaefer of McDonalds as this year’s winner. Congratulations to Jennifer for all of her hard work and dedication!
Tune in Friday for a summary on the third and final day of the conference—and don’t forget to check out our EyeOnLP video recaps for both day one and day two.

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