With a stirring introduction from his longtime Lowe's colleague Greg Bridgeford, Larry Stone entered the Home Channel Hall of Fame during the National Hardware Show Wednesday.
The Hall of Fame induction of Stone, a 43-year Lowe's veteran, was one of the highlights of the 27th annual Golden Hammer Awards, a Home Channel News event.
In his introductory remarks, Lowe's executive VP Greg Bridgeford explained how Stone always led by example, trying to be the best he could at any position he was assigned. He called him “the soul of Lowe’s” who rose from the mailroom to the presidency of the company.
Stone had about 20 jobs during his career at Lowe's.
"Whatever job Larry took you always saw two predominant behaviors, first an obsession to understand the challenge of the position and what he needed to learn to succeed," Bridgeford said. "The second is an incredible drive to be the best at whatever challenge he took on."
Stone listed the five traits he considered essential to leadership:
• Authenticity. “Never try to be someone you’re not. Let people see the true you every day."
• Treat people the way you want to be treated. “Know what’s important to your people.”
• Passion. “As a leader, you cast a big shadow. Be passionate about your company.”
• Be a team player. “Give your support and leadership to your team.”
• Integrity. “Your integrity will last long after you’re gone.”
“I didn’t start in the mailroom and think, 'Well, someday I could be president.’ But I did set goals,” said Stone, who also described his career as an adventure. "I hope I had a positive impact on the industry, because the industry and Lowe's have had a tremendous impact on me," he said.
Some 150 retailers and other industry leaders attended the breakfast event held in conjunction with the National Hardware Show.
In kicking off the induction ceremony, John Shields of MSA Safety Works, the event sponsor, described Stone as an extremely worthy inductee. "For his amazing rise through the ranks, and for his tremendous success at Lowe's, and for the impact he has had on the people he's worked with, and the industry as a whole, Larry Stone deserves a place in the Home Channel Hall of Fame," Shields said.