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Leadership Style at Walmart

Leadership Style at Walmart

Discuss Leadership Style at Walmart within the Foundation of Human Skills (F.H.S) forums, part of the PUBLISH / UPLOAD PROJECT OR DOWNLOAD REFERENCE PROJECT category; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), branded as Walmart since 2008 and Wal-Mart before then, is an American public multinational corporation ...

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Leadership Style at Walmart
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Netra Shetty
netrashetty is on a distinguished road
 
netrashetty
Student of PGDM at Mats Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship
Bangalore, Karnataka
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Leadership Style at Walmart - May 4th, 2011

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), branded as Walmart since 2008 and Wal-Mart before then, is an American public multinational corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company was the world's largest public corporation in 2010 by revenue.[3]
The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962, incorporated on October 31, 1969, and publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. Wal-Mart, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, is the largest majority private employer[4] Walmart is also the largest grocery retailer in the United States. In 2009, it generated 51% of its US$258 billion sales in the U.S. from grocery business.[5] It also owns and operates the Sam's Club retail warehouses in North America.
Walmart has 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names.[6] The company operates under its own name in the United States, including the 50 states. It also operates under its own name in Puerto Rico. It operates in Mexico as Walmex, in the United Kingdom as Asda, in Japan as Seiyu, and in India as Best Price. It has wholly owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada. Walmart's investments outside North America have had mixed results: its operations in the United Kingdom, South America and China are highly successful, while it was forced to pull out of Germany and South Korea when ventures there were unsuccessful.
Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke leads the world's biggest retailer, which has 2.1 million employees and serves 200 million customers each week. He crisscrosses the globe every month, yet still finds time to spend with his family.

Here are excerpts from a recent interview Duke did with The Associated Press in New York:

Q. When does the day start for you?

A. I usually get up between 5:30 and 6 a.m. The good news in Bentonville, Ark., is I can be in the office seven minutes later. I like to get in, work on e-mails and catch up. I like to have no e-mails (in my inbox).

Q. How does a CEO keep his inbox empty?

A. If you looked at my garage, you'd probably see there's a relationship between my garage and my e-mail. I just don't like things undone. I'd rather work five minutes longer and have it (done) today than to carry five minutes over (to) tomorrow and start tomorrow five minutes in the hole.

Q. How do you balance the nitty-gritty of the business with looking at the big picture?

A. If I spend all of my day in the details as a CEO of a company like Wal-Mart, I think it would be trouble, because I wouldn't really be prepared to speak to the big issues that the country or the world should face. But at the same time, if you spend all of the time at 50,000 feet, (you) really are not out talking to customers and know real people. ... I think it's often the interaction directly with customers in the details of their family and their issues is what inspires me to want to help solve the big issues.

Q. Consumers retrenched during the Great Recession. Which habits are sticking?

A. Customers are shopping smarter, and I think customers are proud of that. It can be the customer that has to shop smarter because of maybe limited income, but also the middle-income and higher-income customer wants to shop smarter. They want to feel proud of the way they use their financial resources.

Q. Wal-Mart has struggled more than competitors to grow its revenue post-recession. Part of that was veering away from everyday low prices and part was weeding out too many products and brands. How do you react when Wal-Mart makes a mistake?

A. I don't know that there's a business model that says, 'You're going to empower the organization. You're going to experiment. You're going to change and try new things all the time, but you're not going to make any mistakes.' I'm probably not willing to commit that we're positioned to do that.

Q. Wal-Mart's reputation seems to have improved markedly. Is that a function of the recession?

A. It's interesting the letters I get from mayors that want Wal-Mart to look and invest in their community. I like to start with looking in the mirror, and I think we have improved and changed who we are in many ways. I think we are more desirable to come to a community. ... I think we've done a better job of communicating about the jobs that we create and the opportunity that we create in the area of jobs.

Q. What ideals from Sam Walton do you embrace?

A. (Leadership is) about showing respect to every individual, about humility over arrogance, about listening and getting feedback from a broad array of constituents. It's about a passion for customers and knowing customers firsthand, not theoretical, not through some data, but by having personal, passionate communication with customers.

And leadership is about striving for excellence. It's about setting aggressive goals and not being afraid to go after very aggressive goals and targets. I think it's even better for a leader to set an aggressive goal and come up a little short than it would be to set a soft goal and to exceed it.

Q. What should a leader value most?

A. Integrity and trust. If a leader doesn't have the trust of associates, of customers, of shareholders, then all the other things, the ability to speak eloquently and to sing and dance and entertain, (don't) mean a thing if a leader is not trusted.

Q. Outside of the results of the company and the stock price, how do you know how you are doing at Wal-Mart? How are you evaluated?

A. Hard feedback is in some environments viewed in a very threatening way, and people don't want to hear feedback. In our environment, I think there is a desire to hear candid feedback. When we leave a meeting, before we'll even drive away, I'll ask, 'Well, give me feedback.' I think a leader asking for feedback sets a good tone.

1. Wal-Mart - Changing The Way We All Do Business

The love-hate relationship people have with Wal-Mart is interesting. The Wal-Mart story is compelling. Wal-Mart is setting the pace of change and shaping the art of doing business whether you're working for them, buying from them, or plotting against them.

Sam Walton's mastery of lowering costs is nothing short of legendary. Whether you love or hate Wal-Mart, you've got to respect Wal-Mart for its financial discipline and determination and total commitment to squeezing the last penny out of doing business. Whether it is saving a few pennies through distribution efficiencies, reducing supplier costs or employing cheap labor, Wal-Mart is the poster child for driving productivity up and costs down.

Regardless what you think about Wal-Mart, it is changing the way we all do business - and who we do business with. While community's fight off Wal-Mart development, Wal-Mart insidiously penetrates nearly everything we touch and every move we make.

Wal-Mart is everywhere. You've got to respect what they've done and hate what they're doing.
Wal-Mart Facts

Wal-Mart is the world's largest corporation, according to 2005 Fortune 500 list. It operates over 5,000 stores worldwide, nearly 4,000 in the U.S. and employs over 1.6 million people-- 1.3 million in the United States alone. In the U.S., another 3 million people have jobs directly dependent on purchases from Wal-Mart. (Source: Wal-Mart)

In 1970, the country's largest employer was General Motors, with 350,000 workers. Overwhelmingly union, they earned $17.50 an hour plus health, pension and vacation benefits and cost-of-living increases. Wal-Mart states it pays "full-time" employees $9.68 an hour with no defined benefit pension and inadequate health care. That translates into an annual wage of $17,114, and puts them below the Basic Family Budget requirement of $23,705. (Source: 2005 study by Arindrajit Dube and Steve Wertheim of the University of California's Berkeley Labor Center and www.ufcw.org)

Wal-Mart is as big as Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Costco, Sears and Kmart combined. Each year Wal-Mart sells more by Saint Patrick's Day than Target sells all year. More than half of all Americans live within five miles of a Wal-Mart store. Ninety percent live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart. With nearly 4,000 stores, that is more than one store for every single county in the U.S. Each year 93 percent of American households shop at least once at Wal-Mart. Worldwide, 7.2 billion people will go to a Wal-Mart store. (Source: The Wal-Mart Effect)

From 1997 to 2004, the U.S. population grew 7.7 percent. If jobs in retailing had grown at the rate of the population, the country would have added 1.1 million retailing jobs during those seven years. The country however added just over that number - 670,000 new retail jobs. Out of those 670,000 jobs, Wal-Mart created 70 percent of them. The remaining new retail jobs - 190,000 in the nation over seven years amount to just 540 new retail jobs in each state, each year. While the number of Wal-Mart jobs grew 67 percent, the number of jobs in the rest of U.S. retail grew 1.3 percent. (Source: The Wal-Mart Effect)

While Wal-Mart was adding 480,000 jobs between 1997 and 2004, U.S. manufacturing jobs during those years fell by 3.1 million jobs, a loss of 37,000 factory jobs a month. For the first time in U.S. history, the number of Americans working in retail (14.9 million) was greater than the number of Americans working in factories (14.5 million)

(Source: The Wal-Mart Effect)

2. Perfect Labor Storm Alerts # 533 to 534

Don't miss day-to-day updates on Perfect Labor Storm. Save the Perfect Labor Storm blog to your favorites.

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Fact #533: According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation and its effect on work performance may be costing U.S. employers some $18 billion each year in lost productivity. Another study pushes this cost to over $100 billion.

Fact #534: Results from a study released in the February 2006 issue of Sleep show that 50 percent of employees who suffer from insomnia have at least one time of absence from work over a two-year period, compared with only 34 percent of good sleepers. Insomniacs also miss an average of 5.8 days of work per year, while good sleepers miss only 2.4 days.


Don't be caught in storm without all the facts. "The Perfect Labor Storm Fact Book: Why Worker Shortages Won't Go Away" is a must-read leading edge forecast that predicts workforce trends for decades to come. Order your copy today - Only $7.95.
3. Leadership Clues for Self-Development and Managers

Leadership Identifier is typically used by management to look at internal employees and how their core traits fit within a typical leadership role. The report shows a "Good", "Ok" or "Poor" fit for each of the individual's traits as compared to general leadership traits.
Leadership Self-Development

Leadership Self Development is designed to be used by an individual who wants to explore their own core personality traits and how they affect their leadership style. The report provides tips as to how the individual can develop themselves in a leadership role.

LeadershipClues reports will tell you how an individual's personality traits will affect:
Win-Win Team Approach
Decision Making
Feedback and Follow-up
Handling Confrontational Situation
Motivating Others
Problem Solving
Planning and Organizing
Consistency
Making Presentations
Handling Change

View a sample Leadership Clues report:
4. Quotes from Hire Authorities

Talent wins games. Teamwork wins championships.
Michael Jordan
5. Should Employers Be Required to Provide Health Care Benefits?

What role should employers play in ensuring that their employee's lives are covered? What role should employees play in taking their turn at the oars?

55 percent said NO when asked if employers should be required to provide health care benefits but a surprising say YES if employers who don't provide benefits should be forced to pay a subsidy for the uninsured.
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