4 Leadership Principles We Can Learn From Home Depot Executive Ann-Marie Campbell

Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit – Day 2

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 10: Executive Vice President, U.S. Stores, Ann-Marie Campbell speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit – Day 2 on October 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune)


Feb. 8 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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Ann-Marie Campbell, the executive vice president of U.S. stores at Home Depot, is arguably one of the most influential Black executives in the business world. Campbell manages more than 2,000 stores and 400,000 employees in her role, which she has held since 2016. 

Her leadership is centered on an associate-centric philosophy. This means she believes that taking care of employees is a catalyst for growth and productivity.

There is so much to learn from her extensive management and leadership experience, so let’s walk you through four key leadership principles Campbell practices.

1. Empower Employees

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Source: Pexels

The first and most important leadership principle from Campbell is creating a culture that empowers employees to succeed.

“Employee surveys, town halls, and regular manager meetings all help Campbell make sure she’s in tune with how her workers are doing, but it’s walking the floor that gives her the most insight,” Fortune said of Campbell’s management style. 

A great leader must involve employees in the company’s journey. By giving staff all the necessary tools, resources, and autonomy to succeed, Campbell believes growth and profitability are inevitable.

“I’ve learned that as a leader, you can’t succeed unless you’re developing leaders under you,” Campbell told MovesPowerWomen. “That lesson has opened many doors for me. At this point in my career, I’m grateful to be in a position to pay it forward.”

Campbell makes an effort to not only to lead her staff but also guide them toward their own success.

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2. Embrace Diversity And Inclusion

Campbell fosters a culture of diversity and inclusion by celebrating others. As a Jamaican-American, she understands the value of inclusion and how it can push a company forward.

“I don’t think you can ever maximize the potential of an organization if it’s not truly diverse in people and thought,” she explained in an interview with ECK Consulting. “Home Depot has a diverse customer base so that diversity should be reflected among its employees, its leadership, and its suppliers.”

3. Lead With Empathy

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Source: Pexels

Campbell leads with empathy. Her social impact at Home Depot has been on an individual level, as she is known for engaging her staff with genuine interest in understanding and uplifting them to peak performance levels. And she encourages others to do the same.

“Tell your manager you want to spend some time getting to know other departments,” Campbell shared. “Ask people who have the job you want how they got it… You have to ask people for help.”  

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4. Stand Out

Unfortunately, hard work can sometimes only get you part of the way when reaching your goals. In addition to doing your best, it’s important to offer something that is uniquely you to your company.

“In my early days, I thought if I just worked hard, I would get to the next level,” Campbell said in the EKG interview. “And that is true to a point. But as I advanced in my career, I learned that excellent work and expertise were simply givens. I needed to differentiate myself in another way. At this point in your career, sponsors, and mentors can help you see what you offer that is unique—that goes beyond just tackling the day-to-day. It is the YOU. It is your emotional IQ. It’s your ability to network, to influence, to build relationships. You don’t get to display that just through hard work.”

Campbell has used her time and experience to gain a well of business savvy knowledge and workplace understanding that can be used to help others reach their goals. Learn from her insights and

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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