Sam Walton

One of the best business books I have been fortunate to read. The book was extremely hard to put down and the story told itself through Sam Walton's eyes. The inspiration and thrill of his journey can motivate anyone from his true account of constant and never ending improvement (kaizen).CHAPTER NOTES:Ch01: Learning to value the dollarHard work is the story behind WalmartOverspending is the most common cause of corporate issues

Walmart is cheap and they stay on a restricted budget by controlling

One of the best business books I have been fortunate to read. The book was extremely hard to put down and the story told itself through Sam Walton's eyes. The inspiration and thrill of his journey can motivate anyone from his true account of constant and never ending improvement (kaizen).CHAPTER NOTES:Ch01: Learning to value the dollarHard work is the story behind WalmartOverspending is the most common cause of corporate issuesWalmart is cheap and they stay on a restricted budget by controlling their overhead expenses"We exist to provide value for the customer, which means that in addition to delivering quality and service, we have to save the customer money. Every dollar spent is a dollar taken out of the customers pocket- we make our decisions wisely. Every dollar saved puts us one step ahead of the competition."Ch02: Starting on a dimeBe over blessed with ambition and driveBe the best at whatever you take onBe obsessed with winningSet extremely high personal goalsExercising your ego in public is not an effective way to build an organizationHave a string bias towards actionExpect to win, go into challenges expecting to come out victoriousThe best part about being new is that you can learn from anyoneAlways try to do something differentFocus on driving costs downChurch is an important part of society, especially in the small townsRead your contractual agreements carefullyCh03: Bouncing backInnovate, experiment, and expandSam Walton spent twenty two years innovating and expanding before opening the first world renowned Walmart in 1962Everyday Sam got up with the determination to improve something and of being less wrongCh04: Swimming upstreamOne of the real secrets of Walmart is having had to swim upstream for so longLet's be out front. Let's do it right. Let's get it done now and get on with it.Spend time checking out the competition and see what they are doing rightHave very little capacity for embarrassment and don't pay attention to the way the mainstream society do thingsCh.06: Recruiting the teamFocus on the business and take care of the people on your teamLook at your competition to see if you are headed in the right directionQuestion every expenditure and work hard to learn as much as possible before implementing changeCh.07: Taking the company publicDon't get caught up on other people's goals, keep you head down, work hard, and do your job as best as you canBe long term orientedCh.08: Rolling out the formulaGo into the small towns when no one else will"Each store had to be a day's drive of a distribution center. Then we would fill in the map of that territory, state by state, county seat by county seat, until we had saturated that market area.""We never planned on going into the cities. What we did instead was buikd our stores in a ring around a city- pretty far out- and wait for the growth to come to us."Sam was scouting real estate by plane to see what cities were growing, how traffic flow was working, and evaluate the location of their competitors, if any.When asked about his mgmt style: "I think I'm more of a manager by walking and flying around, and in the process I stick my fingers into everything I can to see how it's coming along."Every trip he carried his tape recorder and his yellow pad with the top 10 to 15 things he should be doing as a company. He kept up with all his tasks by coming in early and working uninterrupted. "If you take someone who lacks the experience but has the desire and willingness to work hard to get the job done, their hard work will make up for whatever skill they lack."They committed to improving one area of the business every single day, little by little.Ch.09: Building the partnership"The more you share profits with your associates- whether it's in salaries or incentives or bonuses or stock discounts- the more profit will accrue to the company. Because the way management treats the associates is exactly how the associates wilk treat the customers."The real money is made with the repeat customerTake care of your people, treat them well, involve them, and you won't spend all your time and money hiring labor lawyers to fight the unionsIf you are good to people, and fair with them, and demanding of them, they will eventually decide you are on their sideRunning your business as an open book allows you to create trust between you and your employees; get people involved, share information, and make them feel responsible for their actionsBe appreciative for the things that are being done rightCh.10: Stepping backWalmart focused on the basics: keeping their costs down, teaching the associates to take care of their customers, and working hard.Turn each disaster into an opportunity. The best executive is the one who has touched all the areas of the business and have the best overall concept of the core values. Find and hire the people who havr the skills and qualities

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you don't have.Ch.11: Creating a cultureJust because we work hard doesn't mean we have to take ourselves too seriously. Walmart motivates their employees like a Tony Robbins seminar.Find a way to make your culture funMake constant change a part of the company cultureCh.12: Making the customer number oneThe secret to a successful investment business is to give the investor what they want.The investor wants timely revenue updates, the lowest possible expenses, guaranteed satisfaction with each investment, friendly and knowledgeable investor relations, reliability and a pleasant investment experience. If you expect great things from people, they will expect it from themselves. Focus on what the investor wants and deliver it.Meet every single investor, let them know you care, and appreciate them.Become the agent for your investor, amd do the best job possible, by delivering the best investment possible. Ch.12: Meeting the competitionWe decided that instead of avoiding our competitors, or waiting for them to come to us, we would meet them head on.Know who your competitor is, learn from their successes and mistakes. There's nothing he enjoys more than going to a competitors store and learning from it.Competition will make you a better company.There's a necessity for constant change and improvement. Greet the investor, smile at the investor, help the investor, and thank the investor. Ch.14: Expanding the circlesTechnology and distribution play a huge role in Walmart's success.Ch.15: Thinking smallWe became big by doing the little things day in and day out.Thinking small is a way of life, almost an obsession. The benefit of thinking small is the ability to move quickly and agile. Six principles:1. Think one investment at a time. - Do what you do best- improve your service, keep expenses down, and keep making things better for your investors. - You don't want a headquarter driven system that's out of touch with the investors of each project. - Examine each project in detail to understand the complexities surrounding that area. - Focusing on a single investment allows you to improve that project by understanding the different variables involved while implementing any lessons learned to other projects. 2. Communicate, communicate,  communicate- The necessity of good communication is vital for the company's success. - Information sharing is crucial to the business.- Now that the business has grown, there are 12 regional managers that fly across the country looking at the local Walmarts in order to report back to HQ3. Push responsibility and authority down- Read the books of W. Edwards Deming - Kaizen- The subdivisions operate to compete with each other for growth and dominance4. Force ideas to bubble up- Always be open to suggestions- Take in new ideas from every possible angle5. Stay lean, fight bureaucracy- Operate lean- WMT used a 2% formula to cover their sales to run their offices- Be more productive and more efficient than your competition- Eliminate the layers between the floor employees and management, maintain that nimble nature so you can move swiftly in light of any challengesCh.16: Giving something back- It's important to give back to causes that mean something to you- Don't subsidize inefficiencies, donate to a cause that makes senseCh.17: Running a successful company: Ten rules that worked for me:1. COMMIT to your business and belive in it more than anyone else. Generate that passion for the work you do and do it better than anyone else.2. SHARE your profits with your associates and treat them like partners. Encourage team engagement and try to ensure everyone wins in this game together.  3. MOTIVATE and challenge your partners to continue growing and working better/more efficiently. If things get stale: cross-polinate and have people work in other divisions.4. COMMUNICATE everything with your partners. Trust them. The more you communicate, the more they will care. 5. APPRECIATE everything your associates do.6. CELEBRATE your successes.  Don't take yourself so seriously. Loosen up, have fun, and always show enthusiasm. Find humor in your failures and then move forward. 7. LISTEN to everyone in your company. Figure out ways to get them talking. The people on the front lines see more than you imagine.8. EXCEED your customers expectations. Give them what they want and a little more. Always strive to let them know you appreciate them, make good on your mistakes, and don't make excuses. Focus on "satisfaction guaranteed".9. CONTROL your expenses better than your competition, this is where you can find the competitive advantage. You can make a lot of different mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. 10. SWIM upstream.  Go the other way. Ignore conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. But be prepared for a lot of folks yo wave you down and tell you you're headed the wrong way.The hard part is figuring out how to implement these rules.Ch.18: Wanting to leave a legacy- Those companies that aren't thinking about the customer and focusing on the customers' interest are going to get lost in the shuffle- Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them- To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time- Set the example and behave the way you want your employees to behave- The more you give, the more you get

- It's all a matter of attitude and the capacity to constantly study and question the management of the business

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