Kip Tindell, the founder, chairman and CEO of The Container Store, a company that sells storage and organization solutions, has been making some audacious statements as he promotes his new book, “Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives.” Among them: that women make better executives than men. With roughly 70 percent of the top leadership positions at The Container Store filled by women, he’s not only talking a good game.
Tindell reasons that there’s nothing more important in a leader than emotional intelligence, and he believes women possess more of that than men. He told Business Insider that the skillset The Container Store is looking for in its leaders — communication, empathy, emotional intelligence, understanding what the brand stands for (conscious capitalism, servant leadership), and being like our target customer — aligns more closely with women than it does men.
Long recognized across the retail industry for his unique leadership style, Tindell has built The Container Store around its employees. In fact, he claims businesses have a moral obligation to create a great work environment for their employees. Container Store puts its employees first in every decision it makes. Its mantra is that if it takes better care of its employees than anyone else — e.g., paying them better, training them more — that they in turn will take better care of its customers than anyone else. This keeps Container Store’s customers coming back over and over again, which ultimately benefits its shareholders.
It’s this type of philosophy that has led Container Store to be included on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 15 years in a row. And with happy employees — they’re being paid significantly more than the average retail worker; Tindell tells Business Insider $48,000 per year on average — comes loyal employees. Container Store’s employee turnover rate hovers around 10 percent compared to the retail industry average of close to 100 percent.
Tindell and the leadership team at The Container Store have developed seven “Foundation Principles” that guide every aspect of the business, from how to treat employees, customers, vendors and the community at large with dignity and respect. Here are those seven principles:
- one great person equals three good people;
- communication IS leadership;
- fill the other guy’s basket to the brim — making money then becomes an easy proposition;
- the best selection, service and price;
- intuition does not come to an unprepared mind — you need to train before it happens;
- man in the desert selling; and
- air of excitement.
What do you think of Tindell’s thoughts on leadership? Do you agree that women make better executives than men? Let us know your thoughts by posting a comment below.