What can we learn from Sam Walton?

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Sam Walton, was the legendary founder and creator of the mega-chain Wal-Mart. After giving several interviews and talks, the number one question that was often asked of him was “what helped him succeed in business?”

sam walton

According to Mr. Walton, there are ten simple rules for operating a flourishing business. These are:

1) Commit to your work

Passion is a skill and trait that you need to master and excel. When a person has passion, he or she is able to speak with confidence, act with influence and present with enthusiasm. If you do not have a strong desire for your craft, there is no way that you will be able to commit to it for long periods of time.

2) Share your profits with employees

Treat your employees as your partners. In return, they will do the same and the result will improve performance by tenfold. Employees are the backbone of a good company. Most companies make the mistake of only investing in incentive programs. A smart company however would also include profit sharing and bonuses.

3) Provide enthusiasm to your partners

Encourage competition, set high goals and keep score. Competition makes companies stronger and strive for better. Actively seek out stiff competition and welcome it with open arms. You will only realize your full potential once you’ve been challenged. This is why goals are important to determine where you are going and how you will know once you have arrived. Always remain focused on your goals above anything else. Dedicated leaders do not welcome interference whilst achieving their goals.

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4) Maintain communication with your employees

Information is power and can be used to empower your team.

5) Appreciate your associates

Apart from sharing profits (point 2), let your employees know how much you value their hard work and contributions by inviting customers to sharing stories of great service and posting them in a public area. Actively recognize people who are doing a good job, it does wonders for retaining employees.

6) Celebrate successes

If you experience a failure, learn from it and move on. Sometimes humility is the biggest lesson.

7) Exercise active listening

Listening is a two way road. Both parties need to be heard. If only one is listening while the other one is talking, it is likely the first party is simply caving in.

8) Exceed customers’ expectations

Why is it important to take care of your customers? Happy customers keep coming back and usually bring other friends and family members with them!

9) Implement better control of your expenses

Do this better and more efficiently than your competitors.

10) Swim upstream

If all the other companies are doing something a particular way, then you might succeed better than the rest by taking the opposite direction. Following crowds leaves little room to stretch your creativity muscles.

Whether you goal is to succeed in business or in life in general, by following some of Sam Walton’s lesson, one can truly come out on top!

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