Walmart's Bender urges leaders to listen and learn
Monday, July 25, 2011
Michael Bender, executive vice president of Walmart
U.S. and president of Walmart West, urged 200 industry leaders to be humble and
listen to their team members at the Network of Executive Women's fifth annual
NEW Executive Leaders Forum here July 20.
Bender told the
gathering that effective leaders should seek alignment, take care of their
teams, keep learning and keep their work and personal lives in balance. Bender
was introduced by Network Board Chair Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president
for merchandise execution, Walmart Stores. Gloeckler noted that it was
Network's tenth anniversary. "We have made a lot of progress on gender
diversity," she said, "but there is much work left to be done."
address outlined ways to build strategic frameworks inside large companies.
"Make sure there is an alignment of initiatives and an openness to
different points of view within your team," he said. "One way of
accomplishing this is truly knowing the people you're working with, and making
sure your team is fully committed to making the end goals happen."
Bender urged the
mostly female audience to keep a work-life balance. "As much as I love
what I do, I won't let it be my sole identity," Bender says. "I'll
always give 110% to my career, but I cultivate my personal interests--family,
friends and many other things--so I can be fulfilled."
The two-day event was
emceed by Forum Chair Catherine Lindner, vice president of retail marketing for
Walgreen Company. Joan Chow, executive vice president and chief marketing
officer for ConAgra Foods, was the Forum's executive advisor.
Female vision needed
Author Sally Helgesen
followed Bender. She discussed the research behind her book, "The Female
Vision: Unlocking Your Real Power at Work,” and explained how the vision of
women can transform organizations.
She was followed by a
roundtable discussion on how the increased presence of women on corporate
boards can benefit board decision making and alter careers for the better. The
Forum's opening day concluded with three concurrent sessions, a one-on-one
learning session and a poolside welcome reception and buffet sponsored by
The Network's next
national conference is the NEW Leadership Summit 2011, September 19-21 in
Orlando. For more information on the Summit visit newonline.org/summit.
president of Walmart West, told 200 attendees at the NEW Executive Leaders
Forum to listen to their team members and "stay humble."