Essay on Sam Walton Book Report

Submitted By serena5088
Words: 2389
Pages: 10

Management of Organizations
July 10, 2013
Sam Walton: Made in America The story of Sam Walton is an epic one. And after reading his story you would understand why he had to be the one to tell it. As the founder of Wal-Mart there is a lot to be said for his business strategies and the decisions that he made over the years. One does not build a multi-billion dollar corporation without hard work and doing some tremendous things right over the years. The book is entitled Sam Walton, but in fact should have really been named the build up to and the story of Wal-Mart. There is a small amount that covers Sam’s history and his upbringing all of which are contributors of the success of Wal-Mart, but the true story that is told here is the story of Wal-Mart. And after reading this book you can definitely say that Wal-Mart is Sam Walton and Sam Walton was Wal-Mart. He lived and breathed his stores and that is evident in his story. Sam himself sums up his ten rules of business and that I believe is the best way to break down and tell his story of Wal-Mart in a brief summary. Rule Number one is “Commit to your business. Believe in it more than anybody else. I think I overcame every single one of my shortcomings by the sheer passion that I brought to my work.” (Walton 1992 pg. 285) Sam Walton never let anyone bring him down on his vision or the things that he could do. He worked on his business day in and day out often before the sun rose to far after it set. He mentions buying a plane to travel from store to store so that he could visit more stores and deliver them more merchandise faster in the early days. Sam truly and genuinely loved the retail business and that was his commitment to his business and everything that he did in life. It mentions that he had a paper route all the way through school and even college and that he was so good at it that he even had to hire paperboys under him. It was his commitment to doing everything that he undertook with everything in his being and whole heartedly that was one of the keys to his success. Rule number two is “Share your profits with all you associates, and treat them as partners. In turn they will treat you as a partner, and together you will perform beyond your wildest expectations.” (Walton 1992 pg. 287) This is one of the foundations of Wal-Mart today. They offer profit sharing to all of their employees and treat them all as business partners. But this was not always how Sam Walton operated his businesses and he said it is one of the few things that he regrets. In the early days before Wal-Mart, when he owned the Ben Franklin variety franchises he offered his top managers a chance to buy into the business and he found that this was a good way to keep them loyal and return capital to grow the business. Sam also operated this way with the first fifty Wal-Mart’s encouraging all of his top executives to buy into the business. It wasn’t until later that he learned if he treated his employees like family and made Wal-Mart their family by sharing the business with them that they in turn would treat the customer better and that is where the money comes from, the happy customers. He is big on servant leadership and partnership between the corporation and the associates and professes that it is the single best things that they ever did, allowing associates to “hold a stake in the company” (Walton 1992 pg. 288). Rule number three is “Motivate your partners. Money and ownership alone are not enough. Constantly, day by day, think of new and more interesting ways to motivate and challenge your partners. Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep score. Make goals with outrageous payoffs.” (Walton 1992 pg. 289) One of Sam Walton’s favorite things to do and one of the great keys to his success where his Saturday morning managers’ meetings where they have said that anything could happen. He was famous for pushing his executives and managers to their…