The biggest thing Anastasia taught me was humility. My last day before leaving the Store for my new role, she pulled me in the office and told me "You know a lot, but don't go to the new store being a know-it-all" I still think about that ALL THE TIME when I'm talking to co-workers/managers. I realized I have to be open to communication, and be "teachable" in order to grow. She definitely challenged my communication skills as a leader. I realized we can't all relay the same message to different people the same way from watching her. She also taught me to delegate and I realized that just because I'm not physically doing things, that doesn't mean I'm not clearing things off of the checklist. Well, I couldn't think of a better person to be a mentor than Anastasia Thompson.
- SKKY THOMAS
I met Anastasia when I started my career with Target Corp as an Executive Team Leader. Anastasia was my Store Manager. When I first entered my career, I had no idea how much of a rude awakening I was in for. Not only was I expected to understand the store financials and be able to speak on the business, I was also responsible for driving sales and strategic planning of store transitions. For someone right out of college this was a huge role, and I was in need of support but at that moment, I didn’t know what type of support I needed. After a few talks with Anastasia, I realized that her tough love and “never letting you off easy” mentality was exactly what I needed.
There are so many valuable lessons I have learned from Anastasia throughout my career but here are the
Top 4 that were most impactful:
Never Take The Easy Way Out: Working at Target there was always so much on my plate and at times the easy way out may have seemed like the best idea. When Anastasia saw me in the back warehouse of the store taking the easy way out. She replied, “What are the long term implications, how is this going to affect store sales and what are you really learning by taking the easy route?” “Always Challenge Yourself” and “Keep the Big Picture in Mind!”
Be Careful and Mindful of How you are Perceived and Watch the Company you Keep: In a manager role, the phrase “perception is reality” is huge and it is important to remain cognoscente of how people view you. Tied into this is, although it’s nice to have friends in the work place that are your peers, if those peers are slackers and you are constantly seen hanging around them soon people will start to see you in that same negative light. Surround yourself with people who you aspire to be like one day.
Be Patient, but Don’t Let Opportunity Pass: I was a very anxious person and right of college, but I knew I had so much to offer to the world. At times it is easy to get impatient as you are waiting for advancement and the next tier of the corporate ladder, but you have to remain patient. Anastasia's story with Target is one of the most inspirational stories on never giving up. It is important to stick with whatever career you choose and be patient, but also always remain vocal about your goals so you don’t get left behind.
BE HAPPY: This is the top most valuable nugget Anastasia has instilled in me over the years. Once I left Target, I worked with about 3 different companies until I found my career home. During that process, a lot of people judged me for my short tenure at some of those jobs, but Anastasia never did. Her main focus was that I find happiness in my career, whatever career that may be.
In life you are blessed to encounter many people, I think of Anastasia as my guardian angel mentor. We may not be in the same state or talk much, but I know when it comes to me and my career she wants to see the best for me, and is secretly cheering me on from her living room ☺
- MICHELLE HURST