Sam Walton’s 10 Rules For Success


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On Friday, I had the privilege to make a visit with a business partner to the Walmart headquarters in Bentonville.

I must say, for me, the place had a tremendous reverence about it.

On the way in I saw a conference room called Mr. Sam’s 10 Rules For Success.

After working in the call center, I asked our host if I could tour the conference room.

Once inside, I must say, the hair on my arms was standing up as I read through the fundamentals of success the founder of the world’s largest corporation with over 2.2 million associates world wide had implemented himself.

I was so moved I took a picture of Sam’s 10 rules for success.

As I reflected on those 10 rules for success with our host, Pamela, I commented that if Sam were alive today none of the current scandals or controversies surrounding Walmart would have ever happened.

Further, we were discussing how almost every corporation around the world has similar values, principles, fundamentals or success rules on their walls as well.

How was a company that started as a five and dime store in Bentonville, Arkansas able to grow from a single unit to over 4400 stores world wide?

I believe they were able to achieve such dramatic success because the difference between Walmart and almost every other company is they took those 10 success principles and lived them daily.

Sam Walton modeled those principles through his personal behavior and insisted the 10 rules for success were not optional.

I challenge you to look at your own organization and see if your principles, values and fundamentals (your rhetoric) match your daily behaviors and what you teach, model and reinforce.

The difference between Sam’s leadership and that of most others is that these 10 rules for success were engrained in the organization’s DNA.

While Sam was alive these weren’t followed some of the time. These rules weren’t implemented when it was convenient.

These fundamentals were practiced by every leader, in every discipline, every day.

If you didn’t buy into these rules for success, it didn’t make you a bad person, you just didn’t fit at Walmart.

Go look at your organization’s annual report (if you have one) or the plaques and principles that are posted on your office walls, and answer me honestly.

Do you and your organization practice these fundamentals, these principles, these rules, no matter what, every day?

Or are they merely words on the wall?

The key is when you create a culture that is driven by principles it is possible to create an organization that can grow and sustain long after its original founder has moved on.

As I read through the 10 rules, I must say I was amazed at how similar they are to my own personal success fundamentals and what I try to teach, model and reinforce with my team and our customers.

I know I am not anywhere in the same league as Mr. Sam, but I am given great confidence by the congruency of our approaches.

I have attached the picture I took while in Mr. Sam’s 10 Rules for Success conference room.


I figured the picture would be hard to read so I better re-state Mr. Sam Walton’s 10 Rules for Success:

Motivate – Motivate your partners. Money and ownership alone aren’t enough.
Commit – Commit to your business. Believe in it more than anybody else.
Share – Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners.
Exceed – Exceed your customers’ expectations. If you do they’ll come back over and over.
Celebrate – Celebrate your success. Find some humor in your failures. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Loosen up and everybody around you will loosen up.
Control – Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage.
Communicate – Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners. The more they know, the more they’ll understand, the more they’ll care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them.
Appreciate – Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. A paycheck and a stock option will buy one of a kind loyalty. But all of us like to be told how much somebody appreciated what we do for them.
Swim Upstream – Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find niche by going in exactly the opposite direction.
Listen – Listen to everyone in your company. And figure out ways to get them talking to the folks on the front lines…the ones who actually talk to the customer are the only ones who really know what’s going on out there.

Click here to view the image.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peter Psichogios
Peter Psichogios is the President of CSI International Performance Group whose mission is to help companies create engaging employee and customer experiences. Prior to joining CSI International Peter served as an executive member of one of the largest Instructional System Association companies in the world. In this capacity, he led all the front-end analysis and worked directly with Dr. Ken Blanchard. Peter has been fortunate to work with the who's who of the Fortune 500, helping them deliver innovative learning, engagement and recognition solutions.


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