Leadership That Serves

Pay Attention to Your Values

What we value determines how we treat others. This applies to every sphere of life, including that of leadership. Brett Biggs, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Walmart, shares practical advice for leaders to create a culture within their organization that inspires service both within the company and in the surrounding communities.

Brett Biggs is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Walmart where he is responsible for accounting and control, corporate strategy and development, business planning and analysis, internal auditing, treasury, tax, global shared services and several other key areas of the company.

One of the first things Brett noticed after starting at Walmart was how similar people were from the top of the organization to the bottom. The company's mission and values created a level of humility in everyone involved.  

Brett specifically keyed in on servant leadership as a crucial trait for effective leaders. In what ways do you leverage your leadership to serve others?
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What is the mission of your organization? How well is it communicated to your people? In what ways does it motivate them?
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 Some of the qualities Brett said he admires about his CEO are his willingness to go out of his way to spend time with his people, asking questions, learning their names, and so on.

What are some ways that you intentionally try to serve the people you lead? How could you be more active about engaging your people? What difference do you think it would make?
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Servant leaders have both an inward and outward focus. They seek to care for the people within their organizations while simultaneously looking for ways to help address the needs of their surrounding communities.  

Like Brett said, you don't have to be a non-profit company to participate in philanthropic work. Servant leadership extends beyond merely the people within an organization to influence communities of people on the outside. 

What are the greatest needs of your community? What resources do you have at your disposal to help meet those needs as an organization?
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How does the mission of your company incorporate service to your community? In what was does the work of your organization help people experience a better life?
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What could you change to sharpen the mission of your organization so that it includes addressing the needs of your community? How could you better encourage your people to serve in that capacity? What difference would it make in the culture of your company?
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Serving others starts with small steps like asking questions, listening, and looking for needs that you can meet. It also creates an implicit standard within your company that values the relational interactions among your people. Pay attention to your values and the ways in which they influence your leadership. Be sure you are setting the model you want your people to follow.

See more from Brett in his course It Starts at the Top: Faith and Work Integrated