Karin’s Leadership Articles

What’s So Great About Shopping at Walmart?

by | Dec 22, 2012 | By Karin Hurt, Communication |

It was Sunday afternoon, I needed to find a picture frame fast to complete the gift I was about to give. The closest solution was Walmart.I am usually not brave enough to go there this time of year.

The stories can be scary.

I reluctantly made my way through the hectic parking lot and the crowded aisles. When I got to the checkout, I made small talk with the smiling gray-haired woman behind the counter.

“How are you,” I asked?

FANTASTIC. It’s Sunday afternoon during the holiday season and I’m working at Walmart.

I checked for sarcasm. There was none. Not in her voice. Not in her eyes.

Now if you are like me, you probably can get through a long list of ideas of what to do with your Sunday afternoon before you get to “gee it would be fun to work the cash register at Walmart.”

I had to ask. “Why do you like working here?”

More surprises.

All of my customers are so nice.

Okay, this time I let my inside voice come out. “Seriously?”

Oh yes. That’s what makes this job so fun. I talk with them. I make them laugh. I get them smiling and happy. There is nice in everyone you just have to find it.

She was skipping to work. She seemed to be following her calling. She was changing the climate. 

I left smiling. She was right, she made it easy to feel nice.

I stood watching for a while, and each customer she served left smiling.

I left, forgetting my picture frame.

Of course she gladly ran out to the parking lot to ensure I left with what I came for.

Indeed I did.

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.


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