Today I had a rare opportunity to be present in a Wal-Mart only managers meeting to hear Lee Scott share some of his comments on “what he has learned.” In fireside chat fashion, Lee shared key lessons learned over his travels that he felt were the most important points he could make to managers in his company at this time.
1. Hire people better than you. He was promoted to head of merchandising because he had developed a strong bench.
2. Ego is the enemy of leadership. We all have egos. It is the management of the ego that is important. The need to be right ceases listening.
3. Most of what you say the first time will be misunderstood or ignored. Repetition is the queen of all learning.
4. When people know what you want, they will give it to you. This was a bit tongue in cheek as he was really emphasizing the importance of wanting the right things.
5. Having good intentions does not guarantee forgiveness.
6. The ability to give honest constructive feedback is a rare talent. Most people don?t want feedback. You are helping people reach their full potential when you are able to give it constructively.
7. Very few people ever feel they are on top of things. There is an underlying fear of failure. His point is that the complexity of his job and most managers make it impossible to be on top of every detail. Don?t live out of fear of failure.
8. Integrity is the single most important characteristic of a leader.
9. Sharing praise is a compromise. Give it all away. It is tempting when you get noticed by your boss to share in the praise and say something like “yeah, I?ve been working with her on that and she is really improving.” That is called sharing praise. Much better to give it all away ? it will come back to you ten fold.
10. What you say and how you say it is not really important as what is heard and how it is heard.
11. Even though you feel strongly about something, there is a possibility you could be wrong.
12. Your harshest critics may be the most helpful voice you hear.
13. There is a cost to being special, most people are not willing to pay that price.
Andy Murray, CEO
Saatchi & Saatchi X
Turning Shoppers Into Buyers