Book Review: Sam Walton’s Way

Have you ever shopped at WalMart?  I grew up in Memphis which is just a few hours away from Rogers, Arkansas, the home of WalMart.  I have always been interested in Sam Walton as I have always heard great things about him and his work ethic.  Amazon had a copy of Sam Walton’s Way available for free in their Kindle store a few weeks back, so I downloaded a copy to read.  This was a quick read, maybe 30 minutes at the most.

Here are some things that I highlighted as I was reading:

  • Running a chain of variety stores was fine, but Walton had bigger things in mind; he was ready to take his vision to the next level.
  • With each new store Walton aimed to raise his game. One of the defining elements of his personality was his voracious curiosity about all things retail.
  • For people of limited means, value trumped loyalty.
  • Under Walton, Wal-Mart was all about learning from the market, not dictating to it.
  • This continuous information flow and improvement cycle left competitors gasping to catch up.
  • So, building on the alchemy of his folksy personality, his driving charisma, and his belief in enlisting his people and making working at Wal-Mart at least a little bit fun, Walton built a unique culture that thrived for almost 40 years.
  • Sam Walton was a restless soul, a perpetual motion machine, and after building the most successful retail operation in history he craved another challenge. Enter Sam’s Club, the successful, members-only discount stores where bulk groceries and sundries are sold at amazingly low prices.

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