Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years about how to be a good boss.

There’s nothing easy about being a boss.

People are messy. We’re emotional. We’re sometimes unpredictable. In short, managing us is no picnic.

This issue, we delve into what it takes to make a better boss. It got me thinking about my past bosses, of which I’ve had several.

One boss instructed me that messaging is always about the listener, not the speaker. Another taught me that you can’t learn from mistakes if you get defensive. If you’re a person who can’t let go of your pride long enough to see what you did wrong in a situation, then you’ll never reach your full potential.

But some of my most treasured lessons were learned at INSTORE. From our executive director Dan Kisch, I learned a lot about how to put the company first while still building meaningful relationships with my co-workers. Our former executive editor Ralf Kircher (now editor-in-chief of our sister publication, Pets+) taught me that any story can be cut. (Of course, the great thing about a website is the lack of page restraints; that’s why you should check out all of our extra content on!)

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Finally, the man who hired me, group editorial director David Squires, instilled in me that every word printed in INSTORE must ALWAYS be something that our reader can use to improve his or her business. His vision is the reason our magazine is so beloved.

Can these lessons apply to jewelry retailing? Let’s see: 1) it’s about the customer, 2) always be willing to learn, 3) put your company first, but be a real person with your employees, 4) edit your inventory ruthlessly, and 5) help your client to be successful, and you will be successful.

Yep, those work. What will be your legacy as a boss?



1. Whether it’s a suggestion box or a confidential survey, give your people opportunities to suggest ways you can improve as their boss. (The Big Story, page 38)

2. Hand out or mail scratch-off cards to customers that reveal limited-time discounts. (Tip Sheet, page 54)

3. One way to uncover your client’s budget: show a piece of jewelry and ask, “How do you like this one? Too big, too small?” (Ask Instore, page 62)

4. Put an “Open for Email Hours” line in your email signature to help limit distractions. (Second lead, page 44)

5. Each day, pick five things that really need to get done and then eliminate the bottom two. Then do them. (Calendar, page 24)

This article originally appeared in the February 2018 edition of INSTORE.

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