I suppose Sam Walton has been recognized and honored by more people than just about any other business man in recent history. He truly was a unique individual and, while I never had the privilege of meeting him personally, I have met people who knew him well. I also have read what he wrote and a great deal of what other people have written about him, and I’ve come to admire and respect him for the great human being he was.
Much has been written about his phenomenal success, but Sam probably summed it up best when he said, “The reason we’re successful is because we spot, we recruit, and we retain the best people.” He said emphatically, “We’re in the people business.” The reality is, regardless of what business we’re in, since it is fueled by people, we are all in the people business. Sam was also possessed of a great vision and tremendous commitment to bring to the most people the best product at the best price. He left no stone unturned to reach that objective. He took his business to the small towns which, at that time, were primarily shunned by the other great merchandising organizations.
Sam Walton was an innovator. He introduced new methods and procedures, using all the high technology that was available. He communicated via satellite and called his managers once a week to get reports from them and to update them on new products and procedures they were installing. He was a “hands-on” kind of leader who paid lower salaries to his executives than most companies do. However, he gave them and all his employees an opportunity to own stock in the corporation and many of them have become wealthy as a result. He said he discovered early on that when he enriched others, he himself was enriched. That’s a pretty good philosophy to live by. It’s one that will work for all of us. Give it a try and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!