A question about TL development.

Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
14
A few weeks ago, I talked with my GM ETL about leadership positions. We chatted and she brough up additonal "developmental activities" around the store to help me as I stay in the pipeline and unofficially train to be a leader. This included being the Seasonal DBO, which is easy so far. Our store's Halloween push has been quite light and I've been finishing freight push in under an hour. But I'm also in charge of flexing not only the truck freight, but purging the backroom and condensing on the sales floor, which has also been easy enough. I've also had moments that I assume to be helping me prepare for leadership, such as being asked to listen out for INF's on the walkies from our OPU team. Our ETL's have been sharing with me the official paperwork about our service scores from recent visits and my workload around the store seems to have increased.

But my question is whether or not this sounds like actual TL development or just general increased workload to prepare for the 4th quarter. This past weekend, I was tasked with tearing down a whole sporting goods aisle by myself to set a new pog and it was pretty brutal. I had 4-5 whole vehicles worth of Sun Squad water toys and pool related items that had to come off the aisle and either go clearance or be flexed out elsewhere in sporting goods, along with obviously setting the new aisle. I was able to get it done and our store's Visual Merchandiser said that her and the rest of the TL's trust me in these activities, but I'm just feeling unsure of if this is TL development.

My TL's have been keeping me busy, whether it be helping with Halloween purge, condensing and flexing in seasonal, working inbound unload more often, and partaking in that messy sporting goods set. But I'm just curious if anyone here has had to do anything similar in their TL development. I just want to be sure that all of this increased workload is going to lead to something in terms of leadership instead of it just being the TL's pushing general pre-holiday work on me.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
3
If anything they should be preparing you for a mock TL interview so you can officially be on the bench. Being a seasonal DBO is a great position for development, but sometimes leaders do take advantage of the hard workers. I would just try to be vocal. But good luck to you
 

Planosss reborn

User friendly.
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
3,640
Test this development phase, by telling them your ideas about improving a process or routine and see if they are willing to try it.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
32,066
Common event with no extra pay.
 

Yetive

Servant of 2 Masters
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
6,709
The work you describe is what DBOs do in my store. This doesn't mean they aren't developing you. Frankly, some stores just suck at developing people. Ask to be included in planning the Christmas set. As a team leader, you will be tasking less, and planning more. Read the communication and planner, and make suggestions about things that pertain to your department. Ask for feedback from your ETL.
 

MrT

Joined
May 9, 2020
Messages
590
Ask if your stores have training hours that can be used for you to shadow your TL. We have done that a bunch with tms in development lately since we have been given more hours then we could use because of lack of trainees. This way they can have a dbo cover your area and you can actually get some real leadership training. You can get much more detailed training this way but it does need your store to have the hours for this.
It is still very important that while you are a dbo, that you are still killing it. Make sure you are auditing, flexing properly, getting your pricing done as well as your daily dbo tasks. If you finish early ask of there is sales planners to set or revisions ( If you dont know how this is a great thing to learn ) If they need help with pricing in other areas of the store. Anything that proves to them you are dedicated.
All these people that say apply other places they are using you ect. Aren't exactly wrong but it is the process. TL turnover is as high as its ever been in spot and they are looking for tms that are going to last and not crumble under the pressure, because believe me there is a lot.
 

lucidtm

beauty/fulfillment
Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
111
Do you currently have a team lead for that area of GM? (Toys/Seasonal) What do they think? If you're ever on the floor working side-by-side during your development ask them some questions about where they started with Target and if they have any advice, etc. Their input could matter to the ETL GM.

All of the work you described doing are tasks that you should know how to do as a TL and ones commonly done by DBOs. I do think doing those tasks will help to prepare you to become a TL but there are things to look out for and to keep in mind.

Do not let your ETLs/TLs take advantage. You will get overwhelmed, which is easy to do in Q4 anyway. But, in this instance, you will burnout. They may not even have that intent, but they have a lot on their plate and any extra help is going to get snapped up, especially when it's coming from a hard worker. Especially when most stores are hemorrhaging employees and hiring newbies for seasonal work. Make sure they're appreciating you, even if it's as simple as saying thank you or recognizing you during huddle.

At the end of the day, whether or not you're "on the bench" will vary by how your store management team operates. For example, some stores actually use their "bench" as intended - to help their team members promote internally or to other stores. Some stores have no "bench" and just know who has approached management about moving up or who has the drive/abilities to move up. Some stores use the "bench" as a way to throw more tasks on a hard worker that they know won't complain.

If your store is like mine and they're actually developing you I would give you the following advice - ask questions, do the work, find creative ways to merchandise product to help it sell quickly and boost sales, be honest (but professional).

Know that promotions don't happen overnight and you're probably going to be doing what you're doing and more the entire way through Q4. Come January see if your hours stay steady where you want them (I'm guessing you like to be at 40) and if they continue to work with developing you. After Christmas, mention you'd like to learn other areas of GM also in order to keep your hours at 40. If you're new, please also keep in mind that there are likely others in the store that are already DBOs or on the same "bench" hoping to be promoted just like you. Some stores go by seniority so you may just have to wait your turn. Don't be discouraged by that, but in the same breath also find ways to make your work stand out (just in case). This isn't by working harder, but more-so by working more creatively.

Keep your eye on the Target Career site for openings in GM. GM job listings on the Target site don't usually say what area of GM they're for, so know if you apply to one of those it could potentially be for C&D, Chem, Baby, Inbound.... It's likely you'll have to switch stores to move up. Internal promotions are common, but even at the TL level not all stores like to do that. If yours is one of them they'll likely keep that to themselves to ensure you stay motivated to do the work for them. Hot tip: as you search other stores in your area for TL jobs find creative ways to learn which stores in the area are okay and which ones are dumpster fires. You'd be surprised.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2018
Messages
1,512
You ARE doing more work than most DBO’s at my store - but that IS necessary for a time to be recognized, to stand apart and for experience. Interview questions are “tell me about a time. . . “ So now you can ! As a TL you may or may not HAVE to do those same tasks but it IS helpful that you know HOW and understand what is involved.

I think your leadership team IS helping you - giving you opportunities- keep doing what your doing and look online for TL openings to apply to.

Congratulations on being noticed and opening communication with your leaders. That IS step 1. Oftentimes the principal of a school only learns the names of the top 10% and bottom 10% of students - everyone else gets lost in the crowd. Try to be introduced to your DTL on the next visit and have an example of an outstanding contribution or an idea you have to improve a process. Leadership at Target involves ‘fitting in’ and being accepted into the leadership team - stay positive - stay a team player - keep offering to help.

Good luck - I hope your interest and effort pay off.
 
Joined
May 6, 2020
Messages
458
You ARE doing more work than most DBO’s at my store - but that IS necessary for a time to be recognized, to stand apart and for experience. Interview questions are “tell me about a time. . . “ So now you can ! As a TL you may or may not HAVE to do those same tasks but it IS helpful that you know HOW and understand what is involved.

I think your leadership team IS helping you - giving you opportunities- keep doing what your doing and look online for TL openings to apply to.

Congratulations on being noticed and opening communication with your leaders. That IS step 1. Oftentimes the principal of a school only learns the names of the top 10% and bottom 10% of students - everyone else gets lost in the crowd. Try to be introduced to your DTL on the next visit and have an example of an outstanding contribution or an idea you have to improve a process. Leadership at Target involves ‘fitting in’ and being accepted into the leadership team - stay positive - stay a team player - keep offering to help.

Good luck - I hope your interest and effort pay off.
It depends on how long you are willing to wait for a promotion at Target.

After the holidays I would ask about a time frame in which you might be made a TL. If they give you a vague answer I would look for a job elsewhere.

Also related to that if they cut your hours drastically in January and February that to me would indicate they WILL NOT promote you.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
14
TL turnover is as high as its ever been in spot

It certainly doesn't feel that way at my store. A majority of my TL's (not counting ETL's) have been here at least a couple of years and don't seem to be showing any signs of leaving.
 

MrT

Joined
May 9, 2020
Messages
590
It certainly doesn't feel that way at my store. A majority of my TL's (not counting ETL's) have been here at least a couple of years and don't seem to be showing any signs of leaving.
My entire leadership team has changed in the past year and a half some positions a couple times. Before that everyone had been here for years many for more then a decade. However its mostly been to transfers and promotions. Stores that are not doing well cant keep anyone. Stores that are just keep losing people to promotions. Turnover is not always a bad thing
 

60SecondsRemaining

Former SrTL - Replen
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
723
I'm going to put this on a T-Shirt at this point because it seems like I type this reply at least every other day.

First, see here, here, and here for my general thoughts on leadership. Mostly just read my post history, almost all of it pertains to that.

Ask yourself this question: How does doing more work make you a better leader? To really answer that question you need to first answer the question "What is a Leader?"

To spot, a leader is a process manager. They don't give one single shit whether or not you inspire people to do better, or whether you foster an environment on your team of collective success. We know this because they have no metrics for it. As long as the work is being done spot does not care how or to what level of sustainability this is accomplished. They will simply replace you when the work stops being accomplished.

So what is leadership, really? A leader is a person who facilitates the success of others, and by extension, the team. They do this through knowledge, understanding, and transparency. A Leader asks the question "how do we improve" and the manager asks the question "why isn't this done." The first question builds an environment where the team is responsible for the work as a whole, the second builds an environment where the team is a group of individuals working on islands. Sum of the parts.

So now that we've reconciled the difference between what a leader is and what spot considers leadership, we can go back and ask ourselves the first question - How does doing more work make you a better leader? The short answer is that it doesn't. Having and honing these types of skills is beneficial insofar as it grants you respect on a technical level from your team. But it doesn't help you problem solve, it doesn't help you improve your listening skills, and most importantly it doesn't do anything to help you take a group full of diverse personalities and skillsets and turn them into one cohesive unit with a common goal.

Your team leaders are developing you the same way they were themselves developed, and it is symptomatic of the perverse and wholly off-fucking-center image of leadership that Target as a company holds.

That being said, if you read the comments I linked - spot has no bearing on you developing yourself as a leader. If you want to be a leader then go lead. Find something you can improve, pull the team together on it, and make it happen. You are the leader when the team sees you as a leader, not when someone says you are.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
14
I'm going to put this on a T-Shirt at this point because it seems like I type this reply at least every other day.

First, see here, here, and here for my general thoughts on leadership. Mostly just read my post history, almost all of it pertains to that.

Ask yourself this question: How does doing more work make you a better leader? To really answer that question you need to first answer the question "What is a Leader?"

To spot, a leader is a process manager. They don't give one single shit whether or not you inspire people to do better, or whether you foster an environment on your team of collective success. We know this because they have no metrics for it. As long as the work is being done spot does not care how or to what level of sustainability this is accomplished. They will simply replace you when the work stops being accomplished.

So what is leadership, really? A leader is a person who facilitates the success of others, and by extension, the team. They do this through knowledge, understanding, and transparency. A Leader asks the question "how do we improve" and the manager asks the question "why isn't this done." The first question builds an environment where the team is responsible for the work as a whole, the second builds an environment where the team is a group of individuals working on islands. Sum of the parts.

So now that we've reconciled the difference between what a leader is and what spot considers leadership, we can go back and ask ourselves the first question - How does doing more work make you a better leader? The short answer is that it doesn't. Having and honing these types of skills is beneficial insofar as it grants you respect on a technical level from your team. But it doesn't help you problem solve, it doesn't help you improve your listening skills, and most importantly it doesn't do anything to help you take a group full of diverse personalities and skillsets and turn them into one cohesive unit with a common goal.

Your team leaders are developing you the same way they were themselves developed, and it is symptomatic of the perverse and wholly off-fucking-center image of leadership that Target as a company holds.

That being said, if you read the comments I linked - spot has no bearing on you developing yourself as a leader. If you want to be a leader then go lead. Find something you can improve, pull the team together on it, and make it happen. You are the leader when the team sees you as a leader, not when someone says you are.

It obviously varies store to store. I’m not taking advice from you, as you clearly have an axe to grind and come off as nothing more than bitter and cynical. I’d wish you a good day, but you’d probably find a way to make a 5 paragraph rant about that as well.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
107
I haven't read all of the replies, if you really want to know where this is going. Do the work they ask of you, then sometime in the next week or two whenever you can bring up the topic in an organic/natural way. Ask them you would like to map out an actual development plan, in order to help track your personal development and be able to hold yourself accountable to it. Basically a, you are here and what steps I need to progress towards my goal of becoming a leader.

don't let this be generic, ask for specifics, what are my current weaknesses, what are my strengths, what barriers do you see I'll have to overcome, what do I need to do in order to grow in that area, what would success in that area look like?

you will be able to judge a lot about their actual intentions based off this type of conversation, if its all dismissive, not yet, not now, you aren't far enough along yet to discuss that. ... Big red flag.
Don't be to hasty in your judgment, if they are just simply refusing to answer in the moment, ask for when would be a convenient time for them to reschedule this conversation.
even if they tell you I'll have to get back to you about it after I check my schedule, follow up again on your next shift with them. Don't back down from the topic until it's resolved.

Depending on how the convo goes I'd even possibly be blunt about your feelings especially if they continue putting off even having the discussion. Something like "I'm going to give it my best effort at work regardless, because that's just who I am, but my concern is that with your apathy towards my development makes me feel as if my interest in becoming a leader is just being used as a carrot to motivate me."

No one is going to fire you or be upset with you that you want to develop, I'd personally push the topic until they either tell me outright its not happening or realize I'm not backing down. It's possible it's not a good fit for you, no one here knows you. It's possible your boss is just a poor leader that has no idea on what talent looks like.

also I don't recall reading how long you have been employed with target, or with this store/management team specifically. If you are relatively a new hire to the company, I'd be very hesitant on how aggressive you were about this. if you are new I'd drag everything I just spoke about over a few months as unfortunately it's hard to judge actual behaviors vs someone who's just putting on a show. They might just be testing you with a higher workload to see how committed to this you are, ultimately, no one knows your situation but you.
 
Last edited:

60SecondsRemaining

Former SrTL - Replen
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
723
It obviously varies store to store. I’m not taking advice from you, as you clearly have an axe to grind and come off as nothing more than bitter and cynical. I’d wish you a good day, but you’d probably find a way to make a 5 paragraph rant about that as well.
Not sure how telling people to improve themselves for themselves is an axe to grind, but if that's how you perceive it then I suppose that's how it is.

I have no hatred against Target, just their unsustainable method of development and warped view of "leadership"

Best of luck. PS this was only three paragraphs. Saved you two.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2011
Messages
1,978
A few weeks ago, I talked with my GM ETL about leadership positions. We chatted and she brough up additonal "developmental activities" around the store to help me as I stay in the pipeline and unofficially train to be a leader. This included being the Seasonal DBO, which is easy so far. Our store's Halloween push has been quite light and I've been finishing freight push in under an hour. But I'm also in charge of flexing not only the truck freight, but purging the backroom and condensing on the sales floor, which has also been easy enough. I've also had moments that I assume to be helping me prepare for leadership, such as being asked to listen out for INF's on the walkies from our OPU team. Our ETL's have been sharing with me the official paperwork about our service scores from recent visits and my workload around the store seems to have increased.

But my question is whether or not this sounds like actual TL development or just general increased workload to prepare for the 4th quarter. This past weekend, I was tasked with tearing down a whole sporting goods aisle by myself to set a new pog and it was pretty brutal. I had 4-5 whole vehicles worth of Sun Squad water toys and pool related items that had to come off the aisle and either go clearance or be flexed out elsewhere in sporting goods, along with obviously setting the new aisle. I was able to get it done and our store's Visual Merchandiser said that her and the rest of the TL's trust me in these activities, but I'm just feeling unsure of if this is TL development.

My TL's have been keeping me busy, whether it be helping with Halloween purge, condensing and flexing in seasonal, working inbound unload more often, and partaking in that messy sporting goods set. But I'm just curious if anyone here has had to do anything similar in their TL development. I just want to be sure that all of this increased workload is going to lead to something in terms of leadership instead of it just being the TL's pushing general pre-holiday work on me.
It can be considered development. It can also be considered testing you. If you can’t handle any of the tasks, get stressed and lose it, call in to get away, or completely fail at getting something done timely, they can decide to stop testing you as they determine you aren’t ready. If you are seen or heard with a bad attitude or say something negative about not getting the support you need to get it done, for ex, they will stop challenging you for your development.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
14
It can be considered development. It can also be considered testing you. If you can’t handle any of the tasks, get stressed and lose it, call in to get away, or completely fail at getting something done timely, they can decide to stop testing you as they determine you aren’t ready. If you are seen or heard with a bad attitude or say something negative about not getting the support you need to get it done, for ex, they will stop challenging you for your development.

So when exactly can I expect to be getting ready to be “on the bench”? Do I have to complete certain tasks? Is there a certain amount of time that needs to pass? As far as I know, I’m merely in the pipeline and I’d just like to know when I’ll be taking the next step.
 
Top