Leadership Paper on Sam Walton

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Sam Walton – Leadership Roundtable Paper

Background of Sam Walton
The leader I selected is Sam Walton, founder of Walmart Stores. He was a humble man which built a multi-billion-dollar retail empire (Loeb, 1992). Sam Walton had a passion for retail which made him a retail visionary (Springer, 2010). This line of thought led to him to become the first every-day low cost leader (Springer, 2010) in retail. This strategy became a model for others in the discount variety industry. He also developed business rules to follow which are still used today. One of his rules as a business leader is to “exceed your customers expectations” (Walton, 1992). Sam Walton became a model leader who changed the way business was done in the retail industry.

Analysis of Sam Walton’s Leadership Styles and Attributes
Sam Walton used a combination of leadership styles. As a Transformational leader, he appealed to the needs of those he led and his customers. Although he abided by the main guiding principle: The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers want they want, he also had six other principles which included thinking of one store at a time; communicate; keep your ear to the ground; push responsibility and authority down; force ideas to bubble up; stay lean and fight bureaucracy (Walton, 1992). He also used concepts such as the Ten Commandments of Business and many others which contributed to his success as a transformational leader. As a Transactional leader he exchanged shares of the company with his employees. He believed people should be treated with dignity and respect. According to his human resources chief Coleman Peterson, Sam taught his employees, the higher up in the organization you go, the more of a servant you needed to become because of the respect and expectation that the Walmart associates have of you as a leader (Gimein, 2002).

Sam was also a visionary leader. He studied his competition and welcomed constant feedback on...
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