If you’re looking for the best collection of Sam Walton quotes on leadership and success then look no further.
Sam Walton was an American businessman and entrepreneur best known for founding the retailers Walmart and Sam’s Club. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. grew to be the world’s largest corporation by revenue as well as the biggest private employer in the world.
What ultimately made Walmart so successful was Sam Walton’s vision and leadership. As you’ll see from this collection of quotes by Sam Walton he believed that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of the customers. It’s a similar approach used by many modern-day entrepreneurs such as Jack Ma, John Paul DeJoria and Gary Vaynerchuck.
During his life, Sam Walton had revolutionized the retail industry and was included in Time’s list of 100 most influential people of the 20th Century. For a period of time, Walton was also the richest man in America and had a net worth of $8.6 billion at the time of his death on April 5th, 1992.
Below you’ll find the best Sam Walton quotes on leadership and success. I hope you can take some inspiration from his incredible mindset.
Inspirational Sam Walton Quotes
1. “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton
2. “High expectations are the key to everything.” – Sam Walton
3. “If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you – like a fever.” – Sam Walton
4. “Capital isn’t scarce; vision is.” – Sam Walton
5. “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.” – Sam Walton
6. “You can make a lot of mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. Or you can be brilliant and still go out of business if you’re too inefficient.” – Sam Walton
7. “Most of us don’t invent ideas. We take the best ideas from someone else.” – Sam Walton
8. “Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.” – Sam Walton
9. “To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time.” – Sam Walton
10. “One person seeking glory doesn’t accomplish very much.” – Sam Walton
11. “We let folks know we’re interested in them and that they’re vital to us. Cause they are.” – Sam Walton
12. “Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom.” – Sam Walton
13. “We’re all working together; that’s the secret.” – Sam Walton
14. “Give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things as rich people.” – Sam Walton
15. “Appreciate everything your associates do for the business.” – Sam Walton
16. “All that hullabaloo about somebody’s net worth is just stupid, and it’s made my life a lot more complex and difficult.” – Sam Walton
17. “I learned this early on in the variety business: You’ve got to give folks responsibility, you’ve got to trust them, and then you’ve got to check on them.” – Sam Walton
18. “Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. In turn, they will treat you as a partner, and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations.” – Sam Walton
19. “I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time.” – Sam Walton
20. “I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been.” – Sam Walton
21. “The way management treats associates is exactly how the associates will treat the customers.” – Sam Walton
22. “Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage.” – Sam Walton
23. “Exceed your customer’s expectations. If you do, they’ll come back over and over. Give them what they want – and a little more.” – Sam Walton
24. “I learned early on that one of the secrets of campus leadership was the simplest thing of all: speak to people coming down the sidewalk before they speak to you. I would always look ahead and speak to the person coming toward me. If I knew them I would call them by name, but even if I didn’t I would still speak to them.” – Sam Walton
25. “All of us profit from being corrected – if we’re corrected in a positive way.” – Sam Walton
26. “When somebody made a mistake – whether it was myself or anybody else – we talked about it, admitted it, tried to figure out how to correct it, and then moved on to the next day’s work.” – Sam Walton
27. “You can make a positive out of the most negative if you work at it hard enough.” – Sam Walton
28. “I learned a long time ago that exercising your ego in public is definitely not the way to build an effective organization.” – Sam Walton
29. “Many of our best opportunities were created out of necessity.” – Sam Walton
30. “If you get one good idea, that’s one more than you went into the store with, and we must try to incorporate it into our company.” – Sam Walton
31. “I’d hate to see any descendants of mine fall into the category of what I’d call ‘idle rich’ – a group I’ve never had much use for.” – Sam Walton
32. “It was almost as if I had a right to win. Thinking like that often seems to turn into sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.” – Sam Walton
33. “If you take someone who lacks the experience and the know-how but has the real desire and the willingness to work his tail off to get the job done, he’ll make up for what he lacks. And that proved true nine times out of ten.” – Sam Walton
34. “Take the best out of everything and adapt it to your needs.” – Sam Walton
35. “Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction.” – Sam Walton
36. “Focus on something the customer wants, and then deliver it.” – Sam Walton
37. “If you don’t listen to your customers, someone else will.” – Sam Walton
38. “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.” – Sam Walton
39. “You can learn from everybody.” – Sam Walton
40. “There’s absolutely no limit to what plain, ordinary, working people can accomplish if they’re given the opportunity and encouragement to do their best.” – Sam Walton
41. “You can’t just keep doing what works one time, everything around you is changing. To succeed, stay out in front of change.” – Sam Walton
42. “Commit to your business. Believe in it more than anybody else.” – Sam Walton
43. “If you want the people in the stores to take care of the customers, you have to make sure you’re taking care of the people in the stores. That’s the most important single ingredient of Wal-Mart’s success.” – Sam Walton
44. “Individuals don’t win in business, teams do.” – Sam Walton
45. “Communicate everything you can to your associates. The more they know, the more they care. Once they care, there is no stopping them.” – Sam Walton
46. “Celebrate your success and find humor in your failures. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Loosen up and everyone around you will loosen up. Have fun and always show enthusiasm. When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song.” – Sam Walton
47. “The way management treats their associates is exactly how the associates will then treat the customers.” – Sam Walton
48. “Leaders must always put their people before themselves. If you do that, your business will take care of itself.” – Sam Walton
49. “Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them. You never know who’s going to have a great idea.” – Sam Walton
50. “If you want a successful business, your people must feel that you are working for them – not that they are working for you.” – Sam Walton (This is one of my favorite Sam Walton quotes on leadership. It’s a piece of wisdom. What’s yours?)
51. “If one of our customers comes into the store without a smile, I’ll give them one of mine.” – Sam Walton
52. “I had to get up everyday with my mind set on improving something.” – Sam Walton
53. “Lose your smile and lose your customers.” – Sam Walton
54. “Most everything I’ve done I’ve copied from somebody else.” – Sam Walton
55. “There are only four things in life that matter. The first is happiness and I’ll sell you the other three for a dollar.” – Sam Walton
56. “If I had to single out one element in my life that has made a difference for me, it would be a passion to compete.” – Sam Walton
57. “Don’t get so stuck in your ways that you can’t change.” – Sam Walton
58. “Do it. Try it. Fix it.” – Sam Walton
59. “Job security lasts only as long as the customer is satisfied. Nobody owes anybody else a living.” – Sam Walton
60. “Information is power, and the gain you get from empowering your associates more than offsets the risk of informing your competitor.” – Sam Walton
61. “The two most important words I ever wrote were on that first Wal-Mart sign, ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’. They’re still up there, and they have made all the difference.” – Sam Walton
62. “I had confidence that as long as we did our work well and were good to our customers, there would be no limit to us.” – Sam Walton
63. “I believe in always having goals, and always setting them high.” – Sam Walton
64. “Keep everybody guessing as to what your next trick is going to be. Don’t become too predictable.” – Sam Walton
65. “I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I brought to my work. I don’t know if you’re born with this kind of passion, or if you can learn it. But I do know you need it.” – Sam Walton
66. “Money and ownership alone aren’t enough. Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep score.” – Sam Walton
67. “Expenses should never exceed one percent of our purchases.” – Sam Walton
68. “Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat; it kills the competition.” – Sam Walton
69. “Capital isn’t hard to find; intuition, yes.” – Sam Walton
70. “What we guard against around here is people saying, ‘Let’s think about it.’ We make a decision. Then we act on it.” – Sam Walton
71. “I’ve always had a strong bias towards action.” – Sam Walton
72. “You can make positives out of most any negative if you work at it hard enough. I’ve always thought of problems as challenges.” – Sam Walton
73. “My role has been to pick good people, and give them the maximum authority and responsibility.” – Sam Walton
74. “Everybody likes praise, and we look for every chance we can to heap it on somebody.” – Sam Walton
75. “Business is a competitive endeavor, and job security lasts only as long as the customer is satisfied. Nobody owes anybody else a living.” – Sam Walton
Did you like these inspirational quotes?
What are your favorite Sam Walton quotes? Let me know in the comments below and please share this post.
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