Message to Associates
The Importance of Integrity
I just had the opportunity to review an article stressing the importance of integrity, especially among those in top management, which I’ll share briefly with you. Integrity of character is not something managers can acquire. If they don’t bring it to the job, they will never have it. It is not something one can fool people about.
Oftentimes, co-workers can know in a few weeks whether or not an individual has integrity. Our associates can forgive a great deal of incompetence or bad managers, but they will not forgive a lack of integrity or honesty. Nor will they forgive those of us who chose to manage without integrity.
History has taught us that the spirit of any organization is created at the top by our servant leaders. If a store, or organization, or distribution center has great spirit, it is because the spirit of the people at the top is great.
Management Is Leadership
I’ve often said I wish we weren’t so dependent on our top managers. All of our great associates are doing good things for our customers throughout Wal-Mart Country. But it is almost a fact that our leaders must be respected, care about their associates, have integrity and be honest above all. No one should ever be appointed to a position in Wal-Mart, SAM’S or elsewhere unless that person is willing to have his character serve as a role model for our associate-partners.
The June Profile
Now, a word about our month of June. Sales are getting more difficult to achieve. It looks like, overall, we’ll be up in the range of eight or nine percent in comparable stores. That will be a little better than our competition, but not what we had hoped for.
We have succeeded in reducing some expenses Company-wide, both in our corporate offices and in our stores. This, along with a reduction in accident costs Company-wide, and a reduction in overall shrinkage year-to-date by .13, gives us a chance to have a fairly good second quarter, if we all do well in July.
We plan to add back some customer service hours in most of our stores in July. I’m sure you all feel this is needed as well to better serve our customers.
The Wal-Mart Way
Let’s keep listening and experimenting. That’s our Wal-Mart way! We know it works. I appreciate your letters and am glad so many of you could picnic with Helen and me at our home during the stockholders’ meeting.
Good luck and keep up the good work.
P.S. I’m heading out tomorrow to open our first store in New Hampshire, the first in the northeastern United States. I’m also stopping off at the Toledo SAM’S and some new Wal-Marts in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Hopefully, I’ll see you around as I can.