The story of the giant Walmart and 10 management secrets of Mr. Sam
Walmart as we know it today has evolved from Sam Walton's goals of great value and excellent customer service. Belief in true leadership based on a commitment to the customer is the principle on which Walmart has built and has driven its decisions for the past 50 years. Walmart's history is closely related to Sam Walton's own story and the future of many businesses will also be rooted in the governance principles of “Mr. Sam.”
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Way to Walmart
Sam Walton was born in 1918 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. In 1942, at the age of 24, he joined the army. He married Helen Robson in 1943. When his military service ended in 1945, Sam and Helen moved to Iowa and then to Newport, Arkansas. During this time, Sam gained early retail experience, eventually running his own grocery store.
In 1950, Walton left Newport for Bentonville, where Sam opened Walton's 5 & 10 on the downtown square. They chose Bentonville because Helen wanted to live in a small town, and Sam could take advantage of the different hunting seasons that living in the corner of the four states had to offer.
Inspired by the early success of his 1-cent store and his drive to bring even greater opportunity and value to customers, Sam opened the first WAlmart in 1962 at the age of 44 in Rogers, Arkansas.
Changing the face of retail
Sam's competitors assumed that his idea of a successful business that could be built by offering lower prices and better service would never work. As it turned out, the company's success far exceeded Sam's expectations. The company went public in 1970 and raised a steady amount for expansion. Sam attributes WAlmart's rapid growth not only to its low cost, which has attracted customers, but also to his associates. He relies on Walmart Account Management to give customers a great shopping experience that keeps them coming back. Sam shared his vision for the company with his associates in a way that was almost unprecedented in the industry. He has partnered with them in the company's success and is convinced that this relationship is what makes WAlmart great.
As the stores grew, so did Sam's aspirations. In addition to bringing new methods and technologies to retail, he also experimented with new types of stores — including Sam's Club and WAlmart Supercenter — and even made the decision to bring WAlmart into Mexico. Sam's tenacity in finding low prices and delivering WAlmart value to customers in the United States and beyond is setting the standard by which the company has survived to this day. His strong commitment to service and values that help individuals, businesses, and countries succeed earned him the Medal of Freedom from President George H. W. Bush in 1992.
Sam Walton believes that running a successful business is based on 10 simple rules that have helped Walmart Listing become the global leader it is today. WAlmart continues to apply them to every part of its business.
1. Make a commitment to your business yourself.
Believe in it more than anyone else. If you love your job, you'll go out every day trying to make it the best it can be, and soon everyone around you will catch on to your passion - like a fever.
2. Share your profits with all associates and treat them as partners.
In return, they will treat you like a partner, and together, you will all achieve your most unexpected achievements.
3. Motivate your partners.
Money and ownership alone are not enough. Set high goals, encourage competition, and then maintain the score. Don't become too predictable.
4. Communicate everything you can to your partner.
The more they know, the more they understand. The more they understand, the more interested they will be. Once they are interested, nothing will stop them.
5. Appreciate everything your associates do for the business.
Nothing can replace a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere compliments. They're free – and worth it.
6. Celebrate your success.
Don't take yourself too seriously. Relax and everyone around you will relax. Send happy words. Show enthusiasm – always. All of this is more important and interesting than you think, and it really fools the fierce competition.
7. Listen to everyone in your company.
And figure out how to get them to talk. To push accountability down in your organization and force good ideas into it, you have to listen to what your associates are trying to tell you.
8. Exceeding customer expectations.
Give them what they want – and more. Correct all your mistakes and don't make excuses – sorry. Stand behind everything you do.
9. Control your spending better than the competition.
This is where you can always find a competitive edge. You can make various mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. Or you can be wildly successful but still go bankrupt if your operations are too inefficient.
10. Swim against the current.
Go in the other direction. Ignore conventional wisdom. If everyone else is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going in the opposite direction.