Stephanie Wood is the director of department stores and internet for the Sperry brand at Wolverwine Worldwide, and a new Women in Retail Leadership Circle member! She has a history of working in footwear, serving as the director of sales at FitFlop prior to joining Wolverine Worldwide. We asked Stephanie some rapid-fire questions so you can get to know her better!
- What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
I just came off a beach vacation: “28 Summers” by Elin Hilderbrand.
- What’s a tip you have for productively leading a team while working remotely?
Utilize Zoom and Microsoft Teams without overdoing it. It’s great to connect face-to-face on video, but not every call has to be a video conference.
- What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
Always assuming everything was my fault instead of working together collaboratively with my manager or team.
- What’s the toughest part of being in charge?
I don’t struggle much with this because I view our team as a unit working collaboratively, so it feels more like a team atmosphere than one person “in charge.”
- What’s the best way you motivate team members?
It depends. Motivation is a very individual thing. I would say having an open door policy, making the team feel as though they have a voice and that it’s heard.
- What woman inspires you right now and why?
Kamala Harris because she’s leading the charge in so many ways that make me proud to be an American. Additionally, Sara Blakely continues to inspire me as an entrepreneur and businesswoman.
- Some experts feel that the COVID-19 pandemic may spark innovation across many industries. What’s something you’re looking forward to for the future of retail?
The expansion of casual footwear across the marketplace and the opportunity this presents for Sperry.
- What’s one thing you look for when interviewing a potential candidate?
- What’s something that you learned about yourself in 2020?
I’m more resilient than I thought — especially during the furlough!
- What’s your favorite podcast?
The Drop Out. It was fascinating how easily one person could bamboozle thousands!
- After the pandemic, where’s somewhere you’d love to travel to?
Hmmm … not sure? Going to table that one until we get through this pandemic.
- How would you describe yourself in a single sentence?
Passionate, gritty, and hardworking; not the smartest person in the room, but usually the last to leave.
- What do you do to recharge?
Work out — cycling, running and swimming are my favorites.
- What’s your biggest accomplishment?
My three kids. I know it’s a cliché, but it’s 100 percent true.
- What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Stay the course. Be yourself. The ideas and ideals of the past are now what’s going to drive the future.
- Who has had the most impact on your life?
My grandfather. He was good to the core and did the right things for the right reasons.
- How would you describe your leadership style?
Collaborative. Honest. Evolving.