Excellence in Leadership
Melissa Wacha, Director of Asset Protection Operations Support, Walmart
“To be a true leader in the industry, you can’t be afraid of change or learning new things,” said Wacha. “I find it admirable when people in leadership roles aren’t afraid to ask questions, get hands-on with their teams to work on new innovation, or step out of their comfort zones to see how new technology or automation can impact the business in a digital world. I think these are qualities great leaders must have to stay relevant.”
Through her own experiences, Wacha understands firsthand the importance of working hard, taking risks, and accepting new and different responsibilities. But when asked about her greatest accomplishment, she took the conversation in a different direction.
“I’m proud to see someone I’ve led or mentored excel in their role and along their career path. It’s what keeps me going every single day. Whether it’s seeing them get a promotion, watching them get a high five after an amazing presentation with a VP, or revolutionizing a process to make associates’ lives better. It’s people that make a difference; and helping to develop those people to make us fit for the future will always be what I’m most proud of.”
Taking a page or two from her own playbook, Wacha also offered some advice for young leaders working their way up the career ladder. “You need to be your own advocate,” she said. “Don’t wait for others to give you a seat at the table—find your place and sit down. Actively seek out leaders in your area and those in other spaces as well. Work hard, work smart, and get the job done, but don’t be afraid to pursue your own development. Ask for feedback, learn where else your skills can be relevant, and set goals for the future. Lastly, find a mentor that’s able help you reach those goals and isn’t afraid to give you honest feedback to help your reach your full potential.”
Nominations Are Encouraged
The LPM team is privileged to have a front-row seat to the very best in the loss prevention industry, providing a unique opportunity to present positive, productive ways to promote loss prevention, build successful and constructive partnerships, educate and inform the LP community, and support the thought leadership that drives us forward.
The LP Magazine “Magpie” Awards are a means to celebrate industry accomplishments on an ongoing basis, recognizing the loss prevention professionals, teams, solution providers, law enforcement partners, and others that demonstrate a stellar contribution to the profession. Melissa Wacha is among our January–February 2019 recipients.
We want this to be your program. Those of you working as LP practitioners witness these exceptional performances on a regular and ongoing basis, and we strongly encourage you to provide us with nominees for each of the award categories. We encourage creative nominations and want the program to cast a positive light on the many tremendous contributions of the loss prevention community. Nominations can be submitted via email to excellence [at] LPportal.com.
Find out who else has been recognized in the January–February 2019 issue – check out “LPM “Magpie” Awards: Applauding Excellence.”