Hal Lawton, CEO of Tractor Supply Co., the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the U.S. talks about leading an 85-year-old business with 2,100 stores across 49 states, including the expansion and leader of new products, and benefits gained during the pandemic due to trends with their “life out here’ strategy. Hal explains how they serve their customers, adjusting to millennial trends, and their important and award-winning focus on ESG, DE&I, and social engagement in giving back and preserving life out here. Mr. Lawton then shares how they’ve really become a societal brand and the most important contribution a leader can make to the company around culture, mission, value, and servant leadership with ‘legendary service’, and giving a true definition of empowering employees.
In the second half of the interview, Hal talks about their 65% growth over the last 3 years and how it ties into a digital world in 3 specific ways, all while being one of the youngest CEOs in the Fortune 500. Mr. Lawton articulates a major challenge he faced at his first job out of college, the valuable lesson learned, and the importance of servant leadership. Finally, Hal leads us into the future and describes the vision necessary to serve their clients and the optimism for the next 85 years of Tractor Supply.