We caught up with Tom, an Area Manager who joined Aldi in 2016. Having completing a History degree at the University of Birmingham, he went on to become an Army Officer. He tells us about how the leadership skills he gained came in handy when he made a career change to work at Aldi.
I’m leading my teams to succeed.
As an Army Officer, I used to manage teams of around 30 people all over the world, from Afghanistan to Kenya. It’s a different context of course, but both the Army and Aldi require similar skills. You need to be a great leader, who can get the best out of your team, but there’s also the communication side of things. The ability to convey a message with confidence and conviction. And that transfers really well at Aldi. Also, in the Army, I learned how to get things done very quickly and accurately, so as you can imagine that’s invaluable in a fast-paced, retail environment.
When I left the Army, I wanted a leadership role that offered more autonomy. Aldi certainly offered that. I also loved the fact that I would be able to make a real impact on my own area of stores. All with a bit more stability than I had before. Plus, the training was amazing. It taught me how to be more agile in my leadership style. The company culture, the structure, the ambition, it’s all really appealing. I get to make pretty big calls that affect the direction of my stores, but the support is incredible. It’s because we all have the same drive to make things better.