LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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Excellence in Leadership Kathleen Smith, Vice President of Asset Protection, Safeway "I believe a true leader must be honest and have integrity," said Smith. "We should always do what's right—even when no one is looking. We must be thoughtful, have courage, and take the time to really listen to the team. Having the ability to identify an individual's strengths, focus on those strengths, and then show the courage to empower them to reach their goals is a cornerstone of leadership." This was a lesson that Smith learned firsthand. After transitioning from law enforcement to the private sector and working her way up the career ladder, she believes that earning and holding that level of perspective is extremely important. "I've held every position in the asset protection department for our company and in multiple divisions, from investigator to my current role," she said. "This has given me a broader and better perspective of the many issues facing the team. It helps me fight and support their battles at the corporate level—and hopefully helps make their jobs easier." Smith has twice been named among the "Top 100 Women Executives in the Grocery Industry," an honor traditionally awarded to executives from the business or marketing side of the business. But when referring to the award, she speaks beyond the personal accolades. "Recognizing the value of asset protection to the industry as a whole validated, for me, that our efforts to be accepted as true contributors and having a 'seat at the table' are being acknowledged." Smith also emphasized the need for young leaders to diversify their knowledge base. "Never stop learning or growing," she said. "Our industry is continually changing, and we need to be open to change ourselves. Don't get stuck in a rut. Treat others fairly and with dignity, have the courage to try something new, and have the willingness to admit when you're wrong." Excellence in Leadership Bill Titus, Senior Vice President of Loss Prevention, Sears Holdings (Retired) "I accidentally started my career in retail as a controller with Montgomery Ward when the job market was difficult—a role I saw as temporary until the employment market improved," said Titus. "Yet forty-five years later, I was still in retail. As it turned out, there wasn't a moment that I didn't enjoy what I was doing. The same dynamics, individual growth, learning, and pace challenged me at each level and motivated me to excel." Titus feels that the opportunity to work with smart, dedicated individuals and "having a small part in helping their growth" are among his greatest accomplishments in loss prevention. "To be successful, you need to be a thought leader, a great developer of people, have the fortitude and resilience to influence outcomes, be a great listener, have the confidence in your team to allow them to influence the organization's direction, and then lead that change," he said. "It brings great satisfaction as I look back over my career to see those I had the opportunity to work with now taking their place as leaders in the industry." He believes that the path to long-term success starts with being a great learner. "Take the steps to understand the business that you're in and how your function and your input can impact the organization as a whole," he said. "It's not about winning your point but understanding how this leads to the best possible outcome for the company. Also, don't be afraid to zig-zag along your career path. This helps build your knowledge base and improves your overall value to both your company and the industry. Development happens at all levels. While self-improvement is essential, make sure you're involved with your team's growth, the growth and awareness of your partners within the company and others throughout the industry when the opportunity arises." Nominate Your Peers at Excellence@LPportal.com 28 JULY–AUGUST 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM LPM Magpie Awards: Applauding Excellence The LPM "Magpie" Awards offer a means to celebrate industry accomplishments on an ongoing basis, recognizing the loss prevention professionals, teams, solution providers, law enforcement partners, and others that demonstrate a stellar contribution to the profession. The ability to influence change is a product of drive, creativity, and determination, but it also requires a unique ability to create a shared vision that others will understand, respect, support, and pursue. Each of the following recipients reflects that standard of excellence, representing the quality and spirit of leadership that makes a difference in our lives, our people, and our programs. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our latest honorees. LPM EXCELLENCE

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