The Top Women in Retail 2016: Susie McCabe, Senior Vice President, Global Retail, Under Armour
What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry?
I love that retail is both art and science, instinct and data. For me, retail has always been the perfect mix of strategy, financial acumen, creativity, problem solving, inter-personal connections and emotion. It has an amazing pace and rhythm to it. No day is the same, but there are patterns that you can come to expect. Retail has always energized me!
If you weren’t working in the retail industry, what do you think you would be doing?
I'd either be a wedding planner or in the music industry. Probably a good thing that I’m in retail!
How would you describe your leadership style?
My style is grounded in coaching, teamwork and collaboration. I’m willing to make the tough decisions, but like to solicit input and ideas from multiple parties. I believe that you need to hear different perspectives to make the best decisions. I also like to empower decision making at lower levels. Your team needs to feel engaged and empowered to act. To do that, I’ve found that you need to outline a clear vision and roadmap, with guardrails. If your team doesn't know where it’s going, it won’t be equipped to make decisions on its own. Lastly, I’m a naturally curious person. I’m just as interested in what happened as I am in understanding why it happened. This curiosity has served me well over the years, helping me to look for the unexpected, mine for solutions, and be open to new lessons and learnings.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, and who gave you the advice?
If the map differs from the terrain, follow the terrain. — Kevin Plank/Admiral Eric T. Olson
Be willing to explore opportunities that broaden your horizons and experience, not just ones that move you up the proverbial ladder. — Mitch Kosh
Do you have any mentors in the retail industry?
Roger Farah is one of the best in the industry, and I had the privilege of working with him for over 10 years at Ralph Lauren. He challenged me and believed in me. He invested real time in training and educating me. He pushed me to always be looking to better myself — be a student of the industry, learn from every new situation and interaction.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I spend nearly all of my time with my family and friends. Family first, though. We love traveling together, dining out — especially new restaurants — attending sporting events, and rooting for my kids. In my "me time," I run, read and listen to music.