This is a very inspirational story of a great man and evolution of a great business. Sam Walton eloquently narrates his humble beginnings to greatness in a clear, concise manner. Mr. Sam tells one story after another about how he got started in retailing to his vision for the future of Wal-Mart. His stories are sprinkled with comments from his family, friends and Wal-Mart associates.
Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world and the second largest corporation in the world, with a 2005 income of over $11 billion. It’s the largest employer in both the United States and Mexico. Sam’s humility is manifested openly when he stated with pride that he invented very few of the ideas that made the store such a success, instead he borrowed the best ideas from every store he visited (and he visited a lot).
If you are merely interested in Sam's business philosophy, Chapter 17, is a must read. It's called, "Running a Successful Company: Ten Rules That Worked for Me." Sam shares his rules for building a business which include total commitment to the business, sharing the profits, exceeding customer expectations and swimming upstream, or as Sam explains "ignore the conventional wisdom." There are no startling revelations in this book. There are no in-depth explanations of strategic business and financial decisions that shaped the direction of Wal-Mart. There are also few, if any, in depth discussions about family relationships or the people that most influenced Sam throughout his lifetime.
The book is highly recommended for those who would like to understand the motivations behind the world’s most successful retail chain. I will be reviewing key lessons i learnet from this book in my next post. Happy reading!!!!