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Magazine celebrates NEW Board Chair and other ‘women of Walmart’

Tuesday, January 3, 2012  
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Network of Executive Women Board Chair Michelle Gloeckler and NEW members Cole Brown, Ann Bordelon and Phyllis Harris share their stories and offer women career advice in the January 2012 issue of Celebrate Arkansas magazine. Walmart Stores Inc. is a NEW foundation sponsor.

The four women, featured in Celebrate Arkansas’ cover story "Walmart Grows Women Leaders,” all hold executive leadership positions at the world’s largest retailer.

Gloeckler, senior vice president of home for Walmart U.S., told the magazine she had a good role model in her mother and advised others to find a great role model. "Get a lot of help along the way and don’t be afraid to ask for help -- whether it’s at home or at work,” she said. "Be confident enough in your business and in your expertise. Don’t blend in. Assert yourself.”

Cole Brown, senior vice president of human resources for Walmart U.S., advised women to work for the best, toughest leaders, purposely seeking out those you can learn the most from. "Be bold,” she said. "Don’t worry about failure. Don’t overthink it.”

Bordelon, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Sam’s Club, offered this advice: "Focus on what you can contribute, not what anyone else is or is not contributing. You can’t control what happens around you, only how you react to it.

"How you react says a lot about a person, especially in a crisis situation,” she continued. "It’s a critical factor in whether people want to follow you or not. The most successful people are people who bring a calming force in a time of chaos and can also inspire even higher performance in a time of growth.”

Harris, senior vice president and chief compliance officer, told the magazine the best advice she could offer comes from the book The Four Agreements. Don’t take things personally in the workplace and don’t assume things, she said. "Unless you’ve talked to the person you can’t assume they think one thing or another.”

Referencing the book, the retail executive also advised women to always do their very best, but cautioned, "With women I think you have to also say to do your best, but do no more than your best. Sometimes we burn ourselves out trying to be everything to everybody.”

Finally, she said, be mindful of the words that come from your mouth. "You can be encouraging to someone rather than the glass is half empty,” she said.

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