TAS 301: Introduction to Technology and Applied Studies
Leadership: The Sam Walton Way
Numerous books have been written about leadership and what separates good leaders from great leaders. Many are authored by the heads of successful enterprises and summarize the "formulas" they believe contributed to their own successes. The problem is that, as readers, we have a greater desire to seek validation of our current leadership styles than to seek a road map for growth and change. We minimize our differences with the authors and convince ourselves they really had our leadership style in mind when they sat down to write. We tend to see in our own leadership style the qualities the authors ascribe to great leaders. This is not an indictment, but merely a recognition that all of us want to believe we are already very good at what we do. We want to believe our fellow workers respect the leadership we provide and that our desire to be a great leader will make us a great leader. Unfortunately, while desire is an important ingredient in achievement, it is not a guarantee. A true leader always looks for ways to be a better leader.
We can't declare ourselves to be Great Leaders. That title is one that must be bestowed upon us by those we lead. Therefore, to achieve this level of recognition, we must be willing to look at ourselves from the perspective of those we lead. In doing so, we will quickly realize that, in spite of all the leadership "formulas," there is no "one size fits all" approach to leadership. True leadership identifies each individual's needs and provides the level of support and encouragement that allows that individual to grow and develop.
Everyone knows Sam Walton loved retailing. He often said that the thing he enjoyed most about retailing was seeing people achieve more than he, or even they, thought possible. This is what leadership is about. Do you:
Listen to your people and respond...