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Role of leadership in merchandising

A successful leader sets a good example, act as a role model for the team, and don’t be afraid to help out others when needed. A team will respond well when leader is willing to contribute. The role of a Merchandiser in the apparel industry is like as a screw with a nut that needs to make tighter by a wrench tool. She needs to establish excellent working relationships with co-workers & other production units. If she shows respect to others, thanking them for their work and complimenting them on their successes, they will be far more active to accomplish task. So a good merchandiser always tries to complete the communication & make ensure things are running properly. This is indeed a role of good leadership and motivating the people.

Why leadership quality is important for a merchandiser

Apparel industry is the most busy and overloaded workplace where people never get sufficient time to accomplish job. Over burden & rush hour is mostly big reason for big mistake. So motivation is very important to keep people active in every working day.  Only a merchandiser can lead effectively to improve efficiency. The figure 1 shows why a merchandiser need to be a good leader.

Why leadership quality is important for a merchandiser
Figure 1: Why leadership quality is important for a merchandiser

Role of merchandiser as a manager & as a leader

In general manager is a formal position plays the role of authority whereas leader engages with motivation and pursues people instead of practicing power of authority. Both the persons hold position and gain success but a leader can enjoy long time achievement.

1. Skill of manager merchandiser

  • Thinks short time.
  • Thinks tactics.
  • Plans how & why.
  • Looks at the bottom line.
  • Knows day to day business.
  • Focus on improving existing product & process.
  • Build success through quality.
  • Supervises.
  • Gain authority through his/her position.


2. Skill of leader merchandiser

  • Thinks long time.
  • Thinks strategy.
  • Asks what & why.
  • Looks at the horizon.
  • Knows the customer.
  • Focus on new products break through process.
  • Build success through team members.
  • Influences.
  • Gain authority by his/her mind set behavior.

Three traits every successful leader has

Leadership skills are the tools, behaviors & capabilities that person needs in order to be successful at motivating and directing others.  Most successful leaders are those that drive others to achieve collective goals. Without exception there are three traits mentioned in figure 2 that every leader must have. If fails to achieve these three tools then at least one of below four things will eventually happen.

  1. The person will be so miserable that he will be burned out.
  2. Team will fail completing their works.
  3. Team members will leave.
  4. Team will lose respect for the leader.
Success Pyramid & three traits that every successful leader possess.
Figure 2: Success Pyramid & three traits that every successful leader possess.

Motivation is a big task for a merchandiser

Generally those works in the apparel industry most of the time fails to understand priority task. In the same time if the materials are not available then people keep the most important task in the last. So it is responsibility of a merchandiser to motivate people & recognize the problem. Solution always comes from merchandiser depending on how much he is successful to convince buyer & related production units. In every step motivation is very important to complete task in a limited time frame. Required motivational skills for a merchandiser are below.

  1. Getting in the root cause of a problem.
  2. Discuses with people & find the solution.
  3. Don’t blame others.
  4. Feel free to offer help & ask help.
  5. Generate ideas & share with others.
  6. Don’t complain all time that particular unit is not working effectively rather discuss open.
  7. Accept responsibility for the commitments & strive to meet them.
  8. Honest about own limitations.
  9. Don’t put up a false front.
  10. Tell the truth.
  11. Working as hard or harder than others

Common leadership qualities that a merchandiser requires to achieve

By born leadership quality may not be gifted to all. Courage and strength can be part of born leader but there are other qualities that a leader needs to practice. Learning from mistake & practice to achieve new qualities are the most important role for a person who wants to be a successful leader. Merchandiser has to be proactive to achieve qualities mentioned in figure 3 if his desire is to leading team & total production unit.

Common leadership qualities that a merchandiser requires to achieve
Figure 3: Common leadership qualities that a merchandiser requires to achieve

In conclusion the role of merchandiser as a leader is likely to have some key skills. She may not have all of these skills right now, but if he is aware of his own strengths and weaknesses then can take steps to develop the skills she doesn’t have.


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