Lessons in Leadership with Michelle McEttrick: The power of induction for setting up senior leaders for success

Primark’s new Chief Customer Officer, Michelle McEttrick was our most recent speaker for our Lessons in Leadership webinar series. Michelle spoke to our EMEA CEO, Sarah Skinner about her first 100 days at Primark, how her induction process set her up for success and her own insights and predictions for retail.  Here are some teasers from the discussion but you can watch the full recording on Vimeo or listen via Soundcloud.

Primark’s induction process

Michelle describes her Primark induction as a ‘career first’. She was in full time induction for three months and at the end of her induction was asked to present on her first 100 days to her line manager, Primark CEO, Paul Marchant. Michelle described her induction as structured, well thought through and an immersive experience which allowed her to have the opportunity to deep dive into the organisation.

Having recently completed her induction and delivered her presentation, Michelle would highly recommend businesses to adopt this approach as she felt this set her up to achieve success and her objectives.

Structuring a ‘first 100 days’ presentation

In the session, Michelle talks about how she structured her presentation and the 5 core areas that she covered and the value of having the presentation as a- discussion document with the Primark CEO.

Insights and Predictions for Retail

Don’t mistake short term or dramatic changes in customer behaviour as brand love

Michelle spoke about how brands and companies dealt with the pandemic and cautioned against drawing conclusions because of short term or dramatic swings in customer behaviour or mistaking it as brand love. As an example, she highlighted the case of Peloton’s response during the pandemic and their current situation in the market today.

Value perception

Michelle discusses her experience of the pandemic during her time at Tesco as Group Brand Director and the importance of value perception of customers.

Pay attention to the external environment and don’t jump to conclusions

Response to external factors or a changing environment doesn’t have to involve knee-jerk tactics but to keep focus on the long -term objective or priority for the business.

Know who your customers are

Make sure not to get consumed with global customer trends and behaviours but focus on who your customers are and optimise the brand experience for them.


You can watch the full recording of Michelle’s session on Vimeo or listen via Soundcloud.

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