Give Your People a Voice

Listen Well

Does everyone in your organization have voice? Don Soderquist, retired COO of Walmart, had taken steps to open dialogue every Saturday morning which would foster the culture that Sam Walton had created. However, a question from one of his employees challenged him to consider that culture doesn’t always come from the top down. It starts there, yes, but culture can grow with help from everyone. 

Don’s initiative became even more powerful once the people of the company started sharing how Walmart's vision and values impacted them. The hourly associates realized that they had a voice, too, and the warmth and passion of Sam Walton’s leadership trickled down through the whole company. 

What specifically struck you about Don’s initiative? Did anything surprise you? What and why?
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How could you give a voice to you people, so that they feel like they can participate in the vision of the company?
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What would your business look like if even the lowest-paid employee felt like he or she had a voice?
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Don described the importance of vision, values, and culture in the life of a company. His personal stories illustrate his ideas, and the lessons he shares have a broad range of application. As a leader, remember that it is your responsibility to create and cast the vision for your people. By your example, they will see what the culture of the company should look like, and they will follow you if you give them a voice. 

For more insights and teaching from Don Soderquist, check out the full course Leadership with a Purpose.  

For more great content from the Soderquist Leadership, visit their website, here

Download two free chapters of Don’s book, Live, Learn, Lead, here.