Thank you to everyone for sharing their stories and lessons learned from Blake. I have found it so inspiring to read the impact he had on all of us.
One think I appreciated about Blake was how he would answer your question with a question that was always meant to challenge us and make us stronger.
I learned that having meetings or dinners with Blake you always wanted to be on the offense and be prepared with questions so that he wouldn’t turn to you and ask what your number one selling eye shadow was last year.
So I always had 3-5 questions prepared and one topic that was hot on my mind was floor watching in shoes. I asked Blake if you wanted to rewrite the shoe division how would it look because we’re hearing from customers that the interaction is too long (yes I know dumb to challenge the original shoe dog in shoes). He promptly responds with “Sadie when’s the last time you floor watched in shoes” and then proceeds to ask me more questions that I of course didn’t know. I humbly replied that I don’t know much about the shoe division and will get back to him in a couple weeks with my findings.
I went back to my store and called up all the notorious shoe dogs in the company, helped with markdowns, floor watched etc. I was able to report back with some things we could do differently but we all know the important lesson here. He taught me to be curious and be a student of the business. After that I made it a point to work in every department of the store. He taught me to be a better leader and store manager.
His next question at dinner was why I haven’t invited him to my store yet? I’m going to start sitting on the opposite side of the table.