Sam Walton: Made In America

Book Review by Leo Trevino

America has seeing great success stories throughout her run. One of the wildest rides along the way has shaped the retail industry and shook it to it’s core. Yes, I speak of the retail giant, Wal-Mart!

In his book, Made In America, founder Sam Walton takes us on a journey on what it took to grow a company that many believed wouldn’t make it!

Throughout the book you realize an occurring pattern; Mr. Walton was committed to Wal-Mart, committed to customers, and committed to success.

Here are my key takeaways…

  • Sam Walton grew up understanding the value of work and money. He learned from an early age to be a “contributer in the home, and not a taker.”
  • He believed in a strong basis to be action oriented. From the get go…he believed in winning. He believed so strongly that he was a winner, he thought that it was just a “right” for him to win.
  • He also had amazing people skills from the get go. One key advice he did was “greet others and introduce himself before people had the chance to do it first.”
  • Taking and learning from others was such a key component to the success of Wal-Mart. Sam was an amazing student and observer of what the market and competition was up to. On family trips, he would always stop and “look” into store. Many of the ideas he got where from other places!
  • Seek out good talent, no matter the cost!
  • Sam also learned, after some trail and error, that the better you take care of your people, the better they will take care of the customer. He would go out of his way to ask questions to all the employees, always seeking information that could give him an edge.
  • The team at Wal-Mart focused on creating an enthusiastic culture, emphasizing groups to solve problems.
  • The three important things about Saturday meetings; share information, to lighten everybody’s load, and to rally the troops!
  • Focus on something the customer wants, and then deliver it.”Job security only last as long as the customer is satisfied.” – Sam Walton
  • The company was always focusing on efficiency. No fancy office buildings and furniture. The more efficient the budgeting, the better savings for the customer.
  • To succeed, you have to willing to change.

The principals behind the success of Wal-Mart are the backbone to what perseverance and efficiency are all about.

One really neat thing about this book is the random commentary from those who worked with Sam throughout Wal-Mart’s existence. A little excert will appear in the book, and then Sam will comment on it or add to the story.

Great read for those who want to dive deep into the man who brought retail into the spotlight, and whose success in business set a standard for those who wish to thrive and provide value to their customers.

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