Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart which is the biggest retailer in the world, had coined the famous saying ‘individuals don’t win, teams do’. Leaders, business managers and even professionals use the saying in myriad ways without even knowing much about Sam Walton.
Right from his childhood, Sam Walton was a unique child. He was regarded as the most versatile among his classmates, he was the youngest Eagle Scout and he had some quaint pastimes which were in sharp contrast of other kids of his age. Sam Walton leadership style is not just a phenomenon today but a case study. He was the man who introduced store discounts and stock options for employees. He developed communities of employees and took care of them. He also developed unique ideas to make the stores as local as they could get so the customers felt the store to be a part of their community and not a business enterprise trying to make a fortune.
Sam Walton leadership style is exhaustive. To understand Sam Walton leadership style, one has to delve deep into his life or at least his life as an entrepreneur. Sam Walton didn’t just focus too much on his teams but he also came up with the ten commandments of business. The commandments were – committing to the goals, sharing the rewards with others, energizing the colleagues and all employees, communicating lucidly and sharing everything that one knows, valuing everyone around, celebrating success with all, listening to everyone regardless of who they are, delivering more than what is being promised, working harder but also smarter than everyone else and blazing one’s own path regardless of what one was doing.
Not many people would argue with the words of the founder of a company that is one of the most successful not just in the US but in the whole world. But even if you let aside the success of Wal-Mart and that of Walton, there is little rationale that can reject his logic, beliefs and approaches.
Sam Walton leadership style stresses on the commitment level of a leader. A leader needs to be the most committed, not just to the business and to the personal goals but also committed to his or her staff. A true leader also takes care of the goals of others, which is where Walton’s sharing profits and stock options weaved the magic. From being an inspiring personality to having a compassionate presence, Sam Walton leadership style harbored many magic wands that are becoming rarer by the day.