By Shirley Soodeen (Australia)

What principles do managers in the luxury fashion industry use to engineer a high performance culture that continuously delivers results season after season? Coaching managers in the Luxury Fashion Industry helped me identify a few essential principles that are fundamental in creating this kind of a performance culture. I call them the four E’s:

  • Envision
  • Empower
  • Encourage
  • Evaluate
  1. Envision

This answers the big question: WHY do we do this? WHY do we wish to do or create what we do? WHY have we chosen this as our purpose? What are we are sending forth into the world?

For highly skilled and specialised employees in the luxury fashion industry, the purpose is often tied to the passion they feel about their work. As an artisan from Gucci once gushed to me, a man who had been in his job for more than 30 years creating shoes. He had begun his career as an adolescent, learning the trade from more experienced leather artisans and, bit by bit, he had carved a name for himself over the years. When I asked him about his “Why” he crinkled his eyes and said: “Passion! There is only one reason we put up with so much craziness, it’s our passion for beauty.” Every engaged employee is deeply connected to their Why’s.

Source: iCN Issue 11 (Executive Coaching); pages 35-37

About Shirley Soodeen

Shirley Soodeen is an expert business coach and development specialist. She specialises in creating high-performance cultures in the luxury fashion industry for some of the leading brands in the world. For more information, please visit