Friday, August 20, 2010

Sam Walton's Way

This is another short by New Word City Books about Sam Walton. Sam was incredible in that he started with just about nothing, and built an empire. One of the keys was that he did not try to build all at once. He built one store at a time and grew his business slowly and surely through its formative years.

This short book outlines several things that differentiated Sam Walton and provided him the success that he enjoyed:
1. He defined his overarching goal and never lost sight of it, no matter what little things tried to trip him up.

2. He empowered his employees by giving them information about the business. He stated that the more they know, the more they would understand and the better decisions would be made.

3. Listen and Look. He watched his competitors and listened to his employees for ideas.

I found this interesting because Wal-Mart is a corporation that I do not like very much. I see them as a company that puts small mom and pop businesses out of business. On the other hand, the way Walton built his business reads like a textbook on how a business should be built. He was just very diligent about it, which is a good thing.

So maybe my issue with Wal-Mart isn't a principle issue, it's a charity issue. Wal-Mart obviously doesn't need my business, and probably doesn't even care about my business. I can get better quality merchandise at the same or slightly more prices elsewhere and make me feel that I am actually making a difference in their business and helping someone succeed.

On the other hand, I shop at big box electronic retailers and buy books on Call me inconsistent, but I'm human.

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