The founder of Wal-Mart was Sam Walton. He opened up the first Wal-Mart store in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962. The goal of the Mr. Walton when he opened up the first retail store was to save people money to help them live a better life (Walmartstores, 2009). The company took off very fast and by 1969 the firm became a publicly traded company. The company’s trading symbol on Wall Street is WMT. Today the corporation enjoys a great level of success. The company is the market leader in the retail industry due to the fact that the service and prices the entity offers are superior to the competition. In fiscal year 2009 Wal-Mart generated $401 billion in global revenues while serving nearly 200 million customers per week (Walmartstores, 2009). Leadership and effective management are two critical success factors that enabled the company to achieve high levels of success.
Management and leadership are two completely different business concepts. Leadership can be defined as a special case of interpersonal influence that gets an individual or group to do what the leader wants (Schermerhorn & Hunt & Osborn, 2003, p.286). Management is the act of performing the four managerial functions which are planning, leading, organizing and controlling. In order for a person to become an effective leader the group has to trust the individual. Leadership is not a trait that is limited to the managerial staff. Anybody within an organization can display leadership. It is very common for leadership to manifest itself within a team setting. In such a setting leadership provides the vision to achieve the end state goal (Kumle & Kelly, 2009). I have personally worked in teams in which I became the leader of the team in order to ensure that the team completed the project at hand. Depending on the circumstance a manager has to decide whether to act as a manager or as a