A lesson in leadership at the WRLA: Part I


The CEO of the Sexton Family of Companies, which includes the Sexton Group, was honoured recently by the Western Retail Lumber Association. Steve Buckle was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award at the WRLA’s annual Building and Hardware Showcase, held last week in Winnipeg.

Every year, the award recognizes a business leader who has contributed to their company, the industry, the WRLA, and their community.

Buckle handily checks all those boxes. As head of the Sexton Family of Companies, he brings to the role decades of experience from both the supplier and dealer sides of the industry. From 2006 to 2020, he oversaw the growth of the Sexton Group, the Winnipeg-based LBM buying group. Early in 2020, he was promoted to his current post, guiding the directions of Sexton Group, Kenroc Building Materials, Pan-Brick Inc., and the wholesale distributor Builders Choice.

Buckle showed true leadership even as he was honoured with this award. He started by acknowledging the people in the room. “It’s a big industry,” he said. “It’s a strong industry; it’s an important industry. But most of all, it’s a people industry.”

Instead of talking about himself and his own achievements, Buckle invited his four children onto the stage, thanking them for the important role they play in his life. Next, he called on his wife, Andrea, to join him.

But he did not stop there. He then called up his executive team, then his managers. And he didn’t stop until the entire Sexton team—we counted upwards of 30 people—was onstage with him.

Oh, and one more thing: when we first ran a version of this story in our free Daily News, Buckle took the time to send our Editor a note thanking us for the coverage.

Now that’s the mark of a true leader.