News Opportunity The Academy That Helped This Manager Stay One Step Ahead

The Academy That Helped This Manager Stay One Step Ahead

Lee Griffin isn’t tough to spot, even in uniform. At 6 feet, 6 inches, he towers over his fellow associates and customers, and his signature bowties pop at his shirt collar every day.

A male associate sitting in Walmart Academy classroom
A group of Walmart associates walking through a store

He says he’s all leg and is a little hard to keep up with – but these days, that’s because he’s walking with a purpose.

Although he’s always had passions to pursue (he plays piano, guitar and writes his own music) he didn’t feel like he had a real career path after leaving the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he had been recruited for the basketball team. When he graduated, he was working at a chicken plant in Georgia and didn’t see any room to grow into his potential. That’s when his girlfriend at the time suggested he apply to Walmart.

Walmart Academies – Tools for Success | Lee’s Story

His application was accepted and he soon began working full time as an overnight stocker, before moving through the ranks to support manager. “That’s when I started seeing clearly that there is a career here,” Lee said. “I could always see myself going further with Walmart.”

Once Lee became a support manager, he enrolled in his store’s Academy program. That’s where he learned to grown as an associate, a leader and a person. “A lot of things resonated with me in the Academy, but I think the most important thing is that now I’ve got goals to set to where I want to be,” he said.

Lee says that his 5-year-old daughter is his biggest motivator.

A man and his young daughter play piano together

“I want her to look at me and be proud of what I do,” Lee said, “and at the same time I want her to do better than what I’ve done. I’m trying to do the best that I can in her eyes so that I’ll raise her expectations of herself. That’s what motivates me.”