Leadership Case Study Essay

1012 Words Oct 29th, 2008 5 Pages
Leadership Case Study

The leader chose in this case study is Mr. Samuel Moore Walton (March 29, 1918 – April 5, 1992). He was an American businessman and entrepreneur born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma in USA and the founder of American retailers Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.[1]
Sam Walton began his retail career when he started work at a J.C. Penney store in Des Moines, Iowa in 1940. In 1945, he met Butler Brothers, a regional retailer that owned Ben Franklin chain stores and that offered him one in Newport, Arkansas. That store was running very successful by Walton and far exceeding expectations. Walton continued his retail business that he loved by overcoming many ups and downs. He opened the first Wal-Mart Discount City Store
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Happy employees mean happy customers [3c]- Walton understood the fact that if management treats associates well, the associates would treat the customers well, too, hence the customers will always come back, and that made the continuous profit. Walton let workers buy stock at a discount and started a profit-sharing programme although the employees are paid lower wages than the industry average. He also shared responsibility and information. Even general clerk knew their store’s sales, profits, purchases, and markdowns. He often visited frontline staff at stores and asked them for their suggestions, as they daily talked to customers and knew what they need.
Learn from the competition [3d] - Walton regularly visited the competitor’s store. He tried to get the idea on how they did business when he began discounting. He told managers not to concern with what the competitors are doing wrong but what they’re doing right.
Do things your own way [3e]- Don’t follow the competitors blindly; Walton ignored the conventional sense and find the niche by going in the opposite directions – big retailers usually ignored those towns with small populations (under 50,000). That let Wal-Mart grow for years without competition from any giant national discounters, like Target and Kmart.
Be your own worst critic [3f] One of the reasons the company survived in its early days is that he and

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