Born: March 29, 1918, Oklahoma, US | Successful For: Entrepreneur (Walmart) | Zodiac Sign: Aries
“I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been.”
– Sam Walton
Inner Keys to Success:
- TRAITS OF LEADERSHIP, PAVE THE WAY: Walmart founder, Sam Walton is a natural born leader. During 8th grade, Sam became the youngest Eagle Scout in the state’s history. Sam was voted “Most Versatile Boy” upon graduating from high school. After graduating with a BA in economics he was voted the permanent president. Ambitious to make money, only a few days after he graduated, Sam Walton joined JC Penny as a management trainee. 2 years after obtaining much needed knowledge for the future, he resigned and was inducted into the military where he was supervising security and would quickly reach the ranks of captain. After the war, Walton would get his big opportunity to run a store at just 26. He was worked his way up to leader roles in almost everything he did. “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”
- COMMIT YOURSELF TO SUCCESS, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES: As a kid, while the family was struggling,Sam Walton would do many jobs to help make financial ends meet; including deliver newspapers and sell magazine subscriptions. As a management trainee for JC Penny, he learned the dynamics of how to run a department store.g Years later, after serving his time in the military, Walton secured some investment capital from his father-in-law ($25,000), plus some money he saved from his time in the army, Walton purchased a franchise of Ben Franklin stores.Walton along with his brother at one point, owned and operated 15 variety stores. He was eventually forced to sell the store but the lessons he learned from the venture were of extremely high value. “I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time.” When Walmart first started, Walton was known to lead with a demanding, and “whatever it takes” attitude. During 1991, during an economic downturn, where most companies saw negative results, Walmart grew by a massive 40%.
- BE A VISIONARY SEE THE BIG PICTURE: Sam Walton was the ideal visionary. When managing and owning department stores he implemented his own ideas; He offered investors incentives such as giving the managers the opportunity to become limited partners, which of course, highly motivated the managers to always try to maximize profits while gaining more skills. He was a true visionary who made his dreams become a reality as he once said “Capital isn’t scarce; vision is”. Sam Walton then used what he learned from the many stores he operated to create his own store, but this store had a major idea attached to it, which was to be a “discount store. The first Walmart was called “Walmart Discount Store.”
“Commit to your business, believe in it more than anybody else.” – Sam Walton
Little Known Success Fact:
Sam Walton stayed active in Walmart until the time he passed away. He managed the company as CEO until 1988, and was chairman until his final passing. Close to his death, he was given the Medal of Freedom, an award presented by the President of the United States.
“High expectations are the key to everything.” – Sam Walton
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