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    17 Quotes from Sam Walton Made in America

    Sam Walton grew up in the Great Depression and this time left a lasting impression on him: EVERY DOLLAR MATTERS. When money is scarce, you can’t afford to be wasteful. Whether it was food, clothing, transportation or fun, there was an opportunity to be efficient and not to waste your hard earned cash. 

    Jack Welch said, Sam Walton understood people the way Thomas Edison understood innovation and Henry Ford, production. He brought out the very best in his employees, gave his very best to his customers, and taught something of value to everyone he touched.”

    Having this thought and philosophy instilled at an early age had a great impact on his life in later years when he started in business.

    If you want to succeed in a business, read this book. Don’t think, “I’m just starting a small bookstore. Walton would be talking way over my head.” Think again. Walton started from scratch. What he learned along the way applies to everything from corporate giants to lemonade stands.  

    Sam Walton was passionate about retailing, and his passion leaps off the pages. I don’t get the feeling that he’s saying, “look at how great I am.” Rather, he’s just telling the story of building Wal-Mart through his eyes, warts and all. Bonus: he allows associates and family members give their two-cents worth in text boxes, even if their opinion is less than flattering. 

    It doesn’t take many pages to realize that Walton loved his work and pursued it with boundless energy. If he had been in it solely for the money, he’d have left Wal-Mart when he was worth his first billion. But he loved his work. During his final weeks on earth, dying of cancer, his family brought in a local Wal-Mart manager to chat with Walton about his store’s sales figures.  

    Here are 17 quotes from Sam Walton Made in America

    1. “I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time.” – Sam Walton

    "I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time." - Sam Walton

    2. “Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them. You never know who’s going to have a great idea.”

    "Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them." - Sam Walton

    3. “What we guard against around here is people saying, ‘Let’s think about it.’ We make a decision. Then we act on it.”

    "We make a decision. Then we act on it." - Sam Walton

    4. “He proved that people can be motivated. The mountain is there, but somebody else has already climbed it.”

    "He proved that people can be motivated." - Sam Walton

    5. “Watson, Sr., was running IBM, he decided they would never have more than four layers from the chairman of the board to the lowest level in the company. That may have been one of the greatest single reasons why IBM was successful.”

    "He decided they would never have more than four layers from the chairman of the board to the lowest level in the company."

    6. “Every time Wal-Mart spends one dollar foolishly, it comes right out of our customers’ pockets. Every time we save them a dollar, that puts us one more step ahead of the competition—which is where we always plan to be.”

    "Every time we save them a dollar, that puts us one more step ahead of the competition." - Sam Walton

    7. “And like most other overnight successes, it was about twenty years in the making. ”

    "And like most other overnight successes, it was about twenty years in the making It’s all a matter" - Sam Walton

    8. “The first one is could a Wal-Mart-type story still occur in this day and age? My answer is of course it could happen again. Somewhere out there right now there’s someone—probably hundreds of thousands of someones—with good enough ideas to go all the way. It will be done again, over and over, providing that someone wants it badly enough to do what it takes to get there. It’s all a matter of attitude and the capacity to constantly study and question the management of the business.”

    "It’s all a matter of attitude and the capacity to constantly study and question the management of the business." - Sam Walton

    9. “Business is a competitive endeavor, and job security lasts only as long as the customer is satisfied. Nobody owes anybody else a living.”

    "Nobody owes anybody else a living." - Sam Walton

    10. “Two things about Sam Walton distinguish him from almost everyone else I know. First, he gets up every day bound and determined to improve something. Second, he is less afraid of being wrong than anyone I’ve ever known. And once he sees he’s wrong, he just shakes it off and heads in another direction.”

    “He is less afraid of being wrong than anyone I’ve ever known” - Sam Walton

    11. “What’s really worried me over the years is not our stock price, but that we might someday fail to take care of our customers, or that our managers might fail to motivate and take care of our associates. I also was worried that we might lose the team concept, or fail to keep the family concept viable and realistic and meaningful to our folks as we grow. Those challenges are more real than somebody’s theory that we’re headed down the wrong path. As business leaders, we absolutely cannot afford to get all caught up in trying to meet the goals that some retail analyst or financial institution in New York sets for us on a ten-year plan spit out of a computer that somebody set to compound at such-and-such a rate. If we do that, we take our eye off the ball. But if we demonstrate in our sales and our earnings every day, every week, every quarter, that we’re doing our job in a sound way, we will get the growth we are entitled to, and the market will respect us in a way that we deserve.” – Sam Walton

    "We will get the growth we are entitled to" - Sam Walton

    12. “The two most important words I ever wrote were on that first Wal-Mart sign: “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” They’re still up there, and they have made all the difference.”

    “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” - Sam Walton

    13. “I always favored the mavericks who challenged my rules. I may have fought them all the way, but I respected them, and, in the end, I listened to them a lot more closely than I did the pack who always agreed with everything I said.” ― Sam WaltonSam Walton: Made In America

    "I always favored the mavericks who challenged my rules." - Sam Walton

    14. “If American business is going to prevail, and be competitive, we’re going to have to get accustomed to the idea that business conditions change, and that survivors have to adapt to those changing conditions. Business is a competitive endeavor, and job security lasts only as long as the customer is satisfied. Nobody owes anybody else a living.”

    "Business conditions change, and that survivors have to adapt to those changing conditions." - Sam Walton

    15. “I remember him saying over and over again: go in and check our competition. Check everyone who is our competition. And don’t look for the bad. Look for the good. If you get one good idea, that’s one more than you went into the store with, and we must try to incorporate it into our company. We’re really not concerned with what they’re doing wrong, we’re concerned with what they’re doing right, and everyone is doing something right.”

    "Don’t look for the bad. Look for the good" - Sam Walton

    16. “I learned early on that one of the secrets to campus leadership was the simplest thing of all: speak to people coming down the sidewalk before they speak to you.”

    "Speak to people coming down the sidewalk before they speak to you." - Sam Walton

    17. “RULE 2: SHARE your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. In turn, they will treat you as a partner, and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations. Remain a corporation and retain control if you like, but behave as a servant leader in a partnership. Encourage your associates to hold a stake in the company. Offer discounted stock, and grant them stock for their retirement. It’s the single best thing we ever did.”

    "Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners." - Sam Walton
    Victor Hathaway
    Exceptional business leader with strong marketing and strategic leadership skills. A decisive entrepreneur with proven revenue, profit, and organizational building skills on nationally established businesses, new brands, and significant change initiatives. An innovative thought leader who sets clear, strategic vision and enables cross-functional teams to consistently deliver superior bottom-line or game changing results. Passionately committed to empowering people to accomplish their goals and realize their individual potential.

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