Editor’s Pick: Walmart Exec on Learning to Lead Globally
By Dave Hendrick
Scott Price (MBA/MA ’90) is a true global leader. Currently the executive vice president of global leverage for Walmart International, Price has held a number of key global business roles, including CEO of Walmart Asia and CEO of DHL Express Asia Pacific, among other positions.
Price remains highly engaged with the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and has been instrumental in helping Darden cultivate a global mindset. In this profile published in 2015, Price recounts his leadership philosophy, hopes for the School, and “the new economic normal.”
We talk a lot at Darden about our mission of producing responsible leaders. Can you distill your leadership philosophy in a few words? How do you think about leadership?
I try to be intentionally patient, but am not always successful. I joke that I am genetically impatient so that tells you how hard it is. I was on a trip once walking stores with the leadership team in China at a hypermarket in Shanghai, which was a little bit like what you would expect in a Wal-Mart here, but the very next day was outside of Delhi, walking one of our cash-and-carry stores with the leadership team in India. Very different businesses, very different cultures, very different leadership teams, but, again, being patient with the fact that there are things to be improved but clear we need to move with speed. And never ever be satisfied. So patient about discovering gaps but aggressive on time to fix gaps — and there are always gaps. You want to be respectful and polite. You don’t want to be arrogant.
It’s an intensity, but doing it in a way that is patient; a way that is the most approachable to your team as well potential hires. I often say As hire As and Bs hire Cs. High-potential people want to feel like their voice can be heard and that they are learning, and I have found that lasering in on questions and pushing — but in a polite, patient way — is the best way to develop and create strong teams. I don’t know. I never really thought about it. I am who I am. Whatever style you have, you have to be authentic.
It’s also authenticity that is really important and makes people feel like you are approachable.
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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Darden School of Business
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