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Assignment 2: 21st Century Leadership

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21st Century Leadership

In order to be a great leader you must one day have been a great follower. Some leaders are naturally born to lead and some leaders are groomed to lead. I have respectfully had the chance to work at companies that have had some extraordinary leaders. The senior executive that I would like to present is Terry Lundgren. He is the CEO, Chairman of the Board, President and Director at Macy’s Inc. I have had the privilege to meet Mr. Lundgren and his presence indicates that excellence is mandatory. I always thought that true leaders lead by example. However, Mr. Lundgren insists that he follows, rather than leads by example.

Terry Lundgren started his retail career in 1975 with Bullock’s at Macy’s Inc. He started from the bottom of the retail world and worked his way all the way up. His career path has taken him from a retail buyer to human resources to senior-level management and merchandising. He has had some significant titles under his belt and has had the privilege to be a leader at several different companies. He has received several leadership awards to include the retail industry’s pre-eminent honor, the Gold Medal Award. His leadership style is unique to the industry that he has chosen for his career, he offers innovation along with a portion of directive, supportive and achievement-oriented leadership. Oddly he does not have the same educational background as most CEO’s, he has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and unlike most CEO’s he did not minor in any finance courses. The University of Arizona has a retailing center that is named after him. He also credits his time as a secondary veterinarian student to the reason why he thinks mistakes can be quickly change if you change them into a different course. Challenges must be addressed head on.

I have had the privilege to work at Macy’s since 2006. Overall, I would say that the company is definitely a great place to start a career. The company has a high demand of positions and they believe in promoting from within. Most of the people that have moved up into leadership roles all started out at the store associate level as a sales associate. Macy’s provide the training needed to change into different roles. I started out with the company as a seasonal associate and I would go back every holiday season. The company sets a standard to employees that provides loyalty and integrity by allowing associates that have worked there and left on good terms the opportunity to come back anytime. Mr. Lundgren credits the employees for a job well done. He takes pride and effort into making sure that the associates of both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s understand that they are important and they are appreciated. He considers himself to be Chief Customer Officer, and to him customers consist of his employees as well as consumers, after all employees are consumers also.

Macy’s strategic formula for continued growth and success was redefined by the customers’ shopping experience. The best decision that he could have ever made to change the shopping experience for customers is when he consolidated several companies into the streamline of the two most profitable companies. Federated had so many companies under their belt but Macy’s, for example has been one of the most profitable for years. He acknowledges the fact that the Macy’s experience is delivered in stores, online and via mobile devices to promote a better chain for the company. He once said he wanted to make sure customers are served anywhere in the world however they chose to shop would definitely be at the hands of the consumer. Mr. Lundgren incorporates “Integrity” always as one of the company’s core values. The company is designed to foster a culture of ethical conduct and ensure compliance with company policies and applicable laws. Each associate is trained prior to being hired into the company, the Code of Conduct has to be signed off and understood annually by everyone, including executive management, Lundgren included. The company code of ethics has several different components to include communication, legal compliance, outsourced telephony and web reporting, periodic legal compliance assessments and culture surveys. Terry receives regular reports from the Office of Compliance Ethics every year.

The company puts out a different video each month with messages to associates from Terry. In the beginning of the messages one of the first things he says is, thank you for your hard work and I appreciate each and every one of you. It is important to Terry that he provides commitment and encouragement to all associates. In one of the daily postings he indicated that at Macy’s, Inc., our greatest strength lies in the skill, judgment and talent of our people. Every day a production of enormous magnitude takes place on the selling floors and behind the scenes, where the people bring the company’s strategic goals to life. The company significance of attracting, retaining and growing the most talented people in the retail industry has been and will continue to be their greatest advantage. In 2010, he stated At Macy’s, Inc. “we pride ourselves on being part of a company that operates with integrity, makes good choices and does the right thing in every aspect of our business”. It’s absolutely a funny thing to look up and see that you are waiting on Terry Lundgren, laugh out loud, when it happened to me it was amazing. He imitated the program to hire 1,000 college students a year, which has brought so much to the company overall. He generally came up with this idea after going to several colleges and attending several seminars. He believes that when you hire the right candidates they can grow as the company grows.

There are several best practices that companies should partake in to be successful. Companies are so competitive now in all of the industries that are out there. The more the customers buys the more companies process. Companies now take on so much to make sure that they are catering to the entire different customer base. With that being said, my three best practices for an organization is having a diverse employee base, contributing back to the community and training throughout the organization. Customers go with the flow of what they like and what their friends like.



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