A Passion for Helping Associates Grow


As one of Walmart’s up-and-coming leaders, Adrian Maese shares how he invests in his team.

“Working for Walmart has been life-changing for me,” says Adrian Maese, store manager at Store 5312 in Fort Worth, Texas. “Walmart is a competitive employer, and I like what we stand for.”

Adrian should know: He worked for a retail competitor before joining Walmart in 2010. In 12 years at the competitor company, he reached the equivalent of a coach role at Walmart. But once he turned in the red for Walmart blue, he was promoted to store manager within five years.

“It’s motivating to be part of something that gives me so much purpose — working with the community and with associates, helping people get promoted to the next level, and paying it forward,” he shares.

“The company has invested so much in me that I want to pay it forward.” — Adrian Maese

Adrian started at Store 512 in El Paso and moved around within Texas as he gained experience managing Walmart stores, Neighborhood Markets and Supercenters. He is passionate about helping associates rise: “It's my job to do it because I'm in this seat.”

“Finding good people is getting harder, so we have to retain our talent here at Walmart,” Adrian explains. He is committed to developing associates into the company’s future leaders.

How does Adrian help associates grow to the next level with Walmart? Let’s count the ways! 

  1. Make a plan for growth. “It doesn’t just happen. I find out where an associate wants to grow and plan for it.”
  2. Read motivational books. “Doug McMillon shares his annual list of books. He’s the leader of one of the biggest companies in the world. I pay attention to what he’s reading.”
  3. Host an in-store career day. “We have career day every month. We set up a table where a coach or team leader shares their story. People who grow into bigger positions have great stories to tell about Walmart.”
  4. Show associates there’s more to Walmart stores. “If you’ve been to Walmart’s Home Office, share that culture of growth and opportunity. Let associates know: If you want to put in the hard work and you have the grit, the sky's the limit.”
  5. Teach your skill set. “I'll show you everything I know. It's no secret how to run a store! Teach associates financial planning, how to conduct yourself professionally, what our mission is and how we deliver for both customers and associates.”
  6. Share strategy with associates. “Our store got the Super Max bonus last year, and we're already strategizing how to achieve it next year. Every month, we plan financial goals. When you include associates in the plan, they see the fruits of their hard work.”
  7. Promote Live Better U for opportunities to learn. “I paid for my own education. I know what it is to get in debt to obtain higher education. I encourage my associates to avoid debt and take advantage of the LBU free education opportunities.”
  8. Promote other Walmart career paths. “I’ve shared the Associate-to-Driver program in my morning meetings. You can make over $100,000 a year as a Walmart driver! And Walmart pays for your training.”
  9. Drive engagement through community service. “We volunteer in our community, whether it’s cleaning up or giving meals and flowers to moms on Mother’s Day. When the rest of the team sees pictures, associates ask, ‘When is the next volunteer day? We want to help, too.’” 
  10. Reflect on your actions. “Each day, I reflect on what I could have done better or differently, and who I impacted. If somebody was negatively impacted, I make sure to correct that quickly.”

Adrian is grateful for the opportunities Walmart provides and wants to continue to pay it forward. “It’s rewarding to help associates improve their lives!” he says.