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Sam Walton: Made In America Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1993
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From Library Journal
The late Sam Walton was one of the shrewdest and richest merchants in America. Centered on the building of his Wal-Mart empire, his book, like fellow magnate Sandra Kurtzig's CEO: Building a $400 Million Company from Ground Up ( LJ 5/1/91), is light on biography. However, readers will enjoy the folksy narrative of the small-town millionaire who revolutionized retail distribution. Walton also addresses accusations against him, such as running the competition out of town. Coauthor Huey does a fine job of incorporating candid testimonials from family members and associates, who thought Walton's ideas were sometimes silly. Shortly after Walton's death, the book was given an overly sentimental postscript (a minor detraction) and rushed into print. Highly recommended for public and academic business collections.
- Rebecca A. Smith, Harvard Business Sch. Lib.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"[A] wise and inspiring autobiography--Walton tells his quietly fantastic story with conviction and makes no bones about his mistakes."
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"It's a story about entrepreneurship, and risk, and hard work, and knowing where you want to go and being willing to do what it takes to get there. And it's a story about believing in your idea even when maybe some other folks don't, and about sticking to your guns."
-- Sam Walton
"Here is an extraordinary success story about a man whose empire was built not with smoke and mirrors, but with good old-fashioned elbow grease."
-- Detroit Free Press
"A sure-fire all-American success story."
-- The New York Times Book Review
Top customer reviews
He was named at some stage 'richest man in America' by Forbes magazine, an unlikely title since he was unassuming and sort of uninterested in fortunes. Except that money allowed him to donate abundantly from his own personal wealth to many wordy causes.
This book is written in a direct and simple style and has the potential to carry you over. When I read the notes referent to Walton's death I wanted to cry for I thought I had lost a friend.
What strikes me most is that it is clear that Sam's passion for Wal-Mart was all about competition and the desire to build something great. It had absolutely nothing to do with money. And that's why all the money never screwed up his judgement.
Sam said working people achieve anything when given an opportunity and incentive to do their best. He valued your dollar, so you will have a surplus. His two rules, "We sell for less * satisfaction guarenteed," it can't work without quality and price.
A slow 5'9" but his teams played as a team to win the Missouri football and basketball finals. WalMart came far and fast as associates and managers rebuild their relationship weekly. "I'm a maverick and enjoy a little anarchy. If you want people in the store, take care of the customers. For that you take care of the associates. We pick good people, give them maximum authority and responsibility. Now 85% are stockholders as real partners. It's all a family concept."
The discounter principle: the less you can charge the more you earn, and the more profit you have to share with associates for a strong Walmart. The most important contact ever made in the store is between associates and satisfied, loyal customers.
No one feels sorry for vendors, they know what they can sell for, and WalMart wants that bottom price. All buying is planned and done together. On buying trips, expences can't exceed 1% of purchases. The free market system is good for business and good for the people.
Customers and assssociates have a relationship, just as associates and managers have a relationship. Any communication breakdown will harm that balance. The associates are insepararely involved in the business of WalMart. No one is invisible. Everyone on the team makes a difference. Unions cause separation by their natural function and so, are divisive. Job security lasts only as long as the customer is satisfied. WalMart associates build strong value for themselves in many ways and keep us headed in the right direction. They focus on what the customer wants, then make sure it's there. Honestly helping each other started in 1962, profit-sharing began in 1971.
Big WalMart thinks small, even concerning egos. They promise, when customers are within 10 feet, to smile, look them in the eye and greet.
"Every right has a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty. John D Rockefeller jr.
Many American-made items are not competitive on quality or price. Much is from unrealistic, inflexible, unproductive union wages.
Passionately commit, share, encourage, communicate, appreciate, celebrate, listen, exceed the expected, control expenses and swim upstream. Servant leaders are real people in a free market to improve quality of life by a focus on what people need and want, measured through performance. The more you give the more you get.
I've met many good people that enjoy working there that realy like helping people. 3 sisters from Guatemala on Soderquist scholarships received BA's, are now US citizens. Many Central Americans are on scholarship, as are Associate children and each store has one.
P.S. . Also see Don Soderquist's excellent book,The Wal-Mart Way: The Inside Story of the Success of the World's Largest Companyand And the excellent Wal-Mart Revolution: How Big-Box Stores Benefit Consumers, Workers, and the Economy , by the American Enterprise Institute.
Besides hard work and talent, this book shows that Sam's key to success was his "always on" researching of the competition and the fact that he was never afraid to borrow their best ideas.
And he flew his own little plane to check out possible new store locations from 5,000 feet, a nice trick.