This post is from an article posted on LinkedIn written by our SVP of Global Sales & Partner Growth, Lance Ferguson.
When we were sitting down as an executive team to lay out our company values, being feisty and persevering was discussed and worded in several different ways; being scrappy, never giving up, overcoming any obstacle, tough, and several others. It is one of my favorite values, because in life, I was taught from a young age that I am the only one who gets to decide my future. I would face obstacles or challenges, and people would try and tell me I couldn’t, or it was impossible to succeed. I learned that it is up to me to decide what is possible, not anyone else or any circumstance. If you believe it can be done and are willing to put the work in, you can make the unachievable or impossible possible. We determined as a team that being Feisty & Persevering was the value that embodied the spirit of never being able to be held back.
From the very beginning of Walker Edison, our founders lived the value of being feisty and persevering, ingraining it into the very fibers of our organization. Walker Edison was just in its infancy when the 2008 recession hit and shut down so many companies. Our founders looked at this challenge and figured out where our product was still needed and how to get it in front of those that were looking. They synced up with our partners and found a way to gain better exposure for the items we had online. Because of this, WE saw growth during the recession and has not stopped growing since.
Being feisty and persevering walk hand in hand. It means when challenges arise and roadblocks appear you find a way through or around, and you never give up. You team up with the other great minds around you, with your partners, and you find a solution. The Covid-19 pandemic gave us so many opportunities to do exactly that. In March of last year, everyone was forced to go 100% remote and thought we would be back in the office within a couple of weeks. Overnight, our routines, habits, and way of doing business changed completely. Our customer shopping trends changed and needs shifted with no warning to prepare.
I watched as my team worked through these challenges and then the additional challenges that I threw at them saying, “Business/life goes on. What do our partners and customers need and what do we need to shift?” One team came forward with the idea that people were going to need home office furniture and quickly. We took this idea, and in the first days of being sent home we immediately reached out to our partners to get home office pushed to the top of their pages. As you can imagine, we immediately saw incredible results from that decision.
Over the coming weeks and months, we continued to find needs and fill them. Even as more challenges arose, and we discovered people would be home for months and possibly a year, there was never a point where we sat back and said, “This is going to crush us, let’s pull back and be safe.” WE pressed forward and doubled down on inventory and put in place more promotions to help our partners with customer demand as people moved their purchasing to online. We continued to modify how we ran team meetings to stay connected as coworkers and friends while discussing the challenges frankly so we could adapt quickly. While the past year has had challenges in society, at work, and in all our lives, I am proud of the teams at Walker Edison and how we rose together to overcome our obstacles.
Taking each new challenge for what it is, an opportunity to grow and become stronger, the teams here at WE have come together and continue to show the virtue that was built into the fibers of our company on the first day - WE are feisty and we persevere.