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Leadership Style at Target Corporation

Leadership Style at Target Corporation

Discuss Leadership Style at Target Corporation within the Foundation of Human Skills (F.H.S) forums, part of the PUBLISH / UPLOAD PROJECT OR DOWNLOAD REFERENCE PROJECT category; Target Corporation, often called Target, is an American retailing company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the second-largest discount retailer ...

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Netra Shetty
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Leadership Style at Target Corporation - May 4th, 2011

Target Corporation, often called Target, is an American retailing company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the second-largest discount retailer in the United States, behind Walmart.[5][6] The company is ranked at number 30 on the Fortune 500 as of 2010 and is a component of the Standard & Poor's 500 index. Its bullseye trademark is licensed to Wesfarmers, owners of the separate Target Australia chain.
The company was founded in 1902 as the Dayton Dry Goods Company, though the its first Target store was opened in 1962 in nearby Roseville. Target grew and eventually became the largest division of Dayton Hudson Corporation, culminating in the company being renamed as Target Corporation in 2000. On January 13, 2011, Target announced its expansion into Canada. Target will operate 100 to 150 stores in Canada by 2013, through its purchase of leaseholds from the Canadian chain Zellers.

Laysha Ward deserves a pat on the back. In 2010, the poised and compassionate leader has adhered closely to her personal leadership philosophy: “your words and your actions must be aligned.” As the president of Target Corporation’s community relations and Target Foundation, she launched the Target Read With Me initiative, which is aimed at helping more U.S. children read proficiently by the end of third grade.

For a woman who oversees Target Corporation’s domestic and international grant making, community sponsorships, cause marketing initiatives, and other civic activities and also leads its volunteerism efforts, encouraging and providing opportunities for more than 350,000 team members to give thousands of volunteer hours every year, she isn’t distracted from her passion to ensure that our children are equipped with “a chance to graduate from high school ready for college, a career and life.

…Over the next eight years, 75 percent of all job openings will require some form of post-secondary education…

“Our focus on this issue [education crisis] comes at a critical time because K-12 education in America is in crisis. The stakes are high. According to recent data, we know that 1 in 4 American kids did not graduate from high school and nearly 40 percent of African American and Hispanic students didn’t earn a diploma. Over the next eight years, 75 percent of all job openings will require some form of post-secondary education,” says Ward.

“Target’s ties to education run deep. That’s why we are connecting our work in the arts, social services and voluntarism to education for greater impact,” continues Ward.

No matter which hat she’s wearing, a hard hat or something a little more fashionable to complement one of her dresses from Liberty of London for Target; or serving on the board of directors for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the nation’s largest grant maker for volunteering and service; on the Executive Leadership Council, a national membership organization for African American executives; as commissioner of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind; volunteering in the community as a member of The Links, an international woman’s service organization; or devoting time to activities with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Ward’s spirit is always warm and filled with benevolence.

Earlier this year, Ward was tapped by the Denny’s Corporation board of directors to serve as the director; and this fall she was invited to impart words of wisdom at the Women’s Conference, a global women’s empowerment organization led by California’s first lady Maria Shriver.

Ward credits her mom and dad as her current heroes but her great-great-grandmother, Hattie, is the one who left these wise words etched in her heart: “There are a few things in life worth fighting for: family, friends, faith, freedom and an education.
Bob Ulrich isn't the kind of guy you're likely to see clicking his cowboy boots in midair when he retires as CEO of Target Corp.

His departure Wednesday is dictated not by an eagerness for a life of leisure, but by a turn of the calendar. Three days ago, Ulrich celebrated his 65th birthday, hitting Target's mandatory retirement age for executives.

"The biggest loser in this is Bob, because he just loves his job so much," said Bob McMahon, a retired Target vice president of real estate and Ulrich's trusted friend. "It's going to be hard for him not to go into work every day. He still has so much energy."

Ulrich has worked the entire arc of his career at the company now known as Target, starting as a merchandise trainee at Dayton's department store in 1967.

As Ulrich prepares to pass the baton to Target President Gregg Steinhafel, the handoff is quintessential Ulrich, and quintessential Target: consistent, measured and well-thought-out.

Steinhafel and Ulrich have worked together for 30 years, with Steinhafel serving as president since 1999. No one expects wholesale changes.

Nonetheless, the changing of the guard marks a significant milestone for the Minneapolis-based retailer. Ulrich was just the fourth CEO since 1967, when the company went public. Under him, Target grew from a modest Midwestern discount operation into one of country's most innovative, admired and successful companies.

"He's very competitive and very aggressive in terms of being first to the market and capitalizing on trends, and getting out at the appropriate time to drive the cycle of innovation," said Jeff Klinefelter, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co. in Minneapolis who also worked six years at Target.

"At the same time, Bob Ulrich appreciates his limitations. He's hired very talented, very creative people to fill in the blanks."

Intensely private and famously media-shy, Ulrich declined to be interviewed for this report.
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