Top Women in Retail 2017: Shira Goodman, President and CEO, Staples
What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry?
I really like the chance I have to help associates grow and develop. Many of Staples’ retail leaders started their careers as cashiers. It’s been very exciting watching them become real leaders and excellent business people years later. Of course, I also love the ability to interact directly with our customers so we can better understand their needs and fulfill them.
If you weren't working in the retail industry, what do you think you'd be doing?
I actually don’t think of myself as working in retail! Staples is so much more than just our stores. The majority of our business is helping customers find the solutions they need to manage their offices, most often through the products we deliver, the services we offer and our expertise.
How would you describe your leadership style?
It’s all about getting the right team in place and then holding them accountable for working with focus, speed, teamwork and positive energy.
What's the best advice you ever received, and who gave you the advice?
My grandmother, paraphrasing the Greek philosopher Epictetus, used to say, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason — listen twice as much as you talk.” That’s always stuck with me throughout my career.
Do you have any mentors in the retail industry?
Definitely. Tom Stemberg, our founder and a retail legend that started an entire industry (the office superstore), was my mentor for 25 years. And Ron Sargent, my predecessor as CEO. They are two very different men with different styles, but are both tremendous leaders and teachers in their own way.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
To see the full list of this year's Top Women in Retail honorees, click here.