5. Own Your Mistakes
“I am not perfect, but I try every day. I do everything I can to support the 320 people in this building and the corporation as best as I can,” she explains.
When she makes a mistake, she owns it and learns from it. She shows her team that it’s OK to make a mistake if you learn from it.
“As a leader, you own the bad and give away the good—so your associates own the good.”
6. Never Run Out of Ketchup
“I came from a family of grocers, and my grandfather owned his own grocery store. He told me, ‘You’ll never run a grocery store if you run out of ketchup—so don’t!’ Sometimes I walk down the condiment aisle just to check that we have ketchup in stock because if we ran out, my grandpa would be mad at me!”
7. Family Is Everything
Stepheny was just out of school when she started with the company. Her Walmart family came to her wedding and her baby showers. They watched her son and daughter—now in their early 20s—grow up.
“Both of my kids have worked in the Bay City store, and taken part in all the wonderful benefits Walmart offers,” Stepheny says. “My daughter is going to college through Live Better U.”
8. Walk in Your Future Shoes
Stepheny guides associates to step into the roles they want in the future—to dress for success.
“Look toward the future you want. Don’t be afraid to present yourself as who you want to be one day and make good decisions.”
9. Make Retail Fun
“I went to dental assistant school but decided to stay with Walmart because I was excited about retail,” Stepheny explains.
One way she shares her enthusiasm with the team is by creating eye-catching displays from merchandise. “We’ve made displays from cereal boxes and even a Christmas tree out of hot chocolate boxes with marshmallows flowing down it like snow!”
“Sam Walton was all about having fun with merchandise. It’s a great way to get customer buy-in and get associates excited. Our associates are our biggest advocates. If they’re excited about it, they can sell it.”
Stepheny aims to capture the excitement of Black Friday all year, to keep associates dedicated and inspired. “That’s how you get to 30 years—by making retail fun!”