The Quiet Heroes

After watching a favorite movie, do you ever stay in your seat and sit through all the credits? While some do, most of us don’t. We reflect on the stars that have been the center of our attention, the scenes that capture and hold our imagination, and the plot that builds expectations and leads to dramatic conclusions as the story unfolds.

But what about those behind the scenes—those amazing people and names that are scrolled through as an afterthought as we’re leaving the theatre? These are the people who truly bring it all together, but too few get the credit they wholeheartedly deserve.

The Heart of the Program

This same scenario plays out through so much of what we do in both our personal and professional lives. There are always those behind the scenes playing critical roles that can go unnoticed or underappreciated. But without these quiet heroes, the story we’re a part of may never have successfully come together.

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On every team, we have those who quietly go about their responsibilities, not looking for attention or fanfare. They work hard—often harder than we realize, to keep us moving forward and get the job done. Some are simply more comfortable in this role, content with their place as part of the team and happy to contribute for the greater good. They handle the tasks that most of us would prefer to avoid. They make what we do better, easier, and more productive. Most are deeply loyal, thriving on the success of the team, and proud of the role they have in making it happen.

Others are simply “paying their dues,” using their role to learn and grow with hopes of higher aspirations and greater responsibilities. Their ideas and ambitions bring energy and innovation to the team—frequently absorbed into a larger departmental initiative or underserved based on other priorities, but occasionally recognized for the value they bring. Their influence is felt across the team, but often without attention or accolades as they serve our needs and wait their turn. Often seen as our future, we need to make every effort to recognize what they are contributing today.

There are also those who fall in the middle, searching for their place while doing their part to make the program better and more productive. They strive to be successful and make a positive contribution but prefer to find their place leading in the field. These individuals represent the core of the team and the heart of the program. Without them, we have no program. Their influence is what drives results and keeps things running smoothly.

All these individuals are essential to the operation of the department and the success of the business. They deserve to know just how important they are, how much they mean to the team, and how much we value their contributions.

Speak Up

Loss prevention is a support function. Our role is to serve the company by protecting our business, our resources, our customers, and our employees. But in doing so, we also must protect our brand. This demands that we carry out our responsibilities while drawing as little attention as possible to what we do, especially those aspects that have the potential to be viewed in a negative way. Unfortunately, this also means that certain aspects of what we do can be minimized, overlooked, or underappreciated.

The loss prevention community has made tremendous gains over the past few decades. We’ve had to work hard to earn respect and attention as a vital function in a successful retail operation. But we should never lose sight of all those who have helped bring us to where we are today, regardless of the role they play. They have earned that respect through hard work and sweat equity, and are the biggest part of the reason we’re making a difference.

On these pages, we often talk about the heart of a leader and what it takes to find success beyond ourselves. But we must always keep in mind that leadership is about so much more than making decisions and telling our teams what to do. Never overlook those quiet heroes. They deserve to know just how important they are.

Strong leaders don’t need that reminder—but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bring it up. Tell your team how much they are valued and say it like you mean it.

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