Leadership Case Study

Page 1 of 3

Leadership Case Study

By | November 2008
Page 1 of 3
Leadership Case Study

Introduction
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 in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas.[2] In 2003, the company operates more than 4,000 stores worldwide. In 1999, with 1,140,000 associates, Wal-Mart became the largest private employer in the world.[3b] What made Sam Walton a successful business leader in the retailer industries? Walton’s will to turn setbacks into opportunities[3a] is one of the following keys leading to the buliding of his venture. In 1950, when the lease came up for renewal for his first shop in Newport, Ark., his landlord refused to renew it. Walton had nowhere else to move the store but he sold it. It was the low point of Walton’s business life. But he did not blame on his misfortune. He moved his family to Bentonville, Arkansas and bought a new store, named as "Walton's Five and Dime" with a long-term lease. He picked himself up and did it all over again. There he achieved higher sales volume by marking up slightly less than most competitors.[2] This new store was then the start of what became the biggest retailer in the world – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Keep trying to improve [3b]– in Wal-Mart’early stage, Walton kept finding ways to improve and expand it more efficiently, he began reading about computers and hired some other staff in this field. The early adoption...