Ten maxims

1. Commit to your business. Believe in it more than anyone else.
2. Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners.
3. Motivate your partners. Money and ownership alone aren’t enough. […] Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep store.
4. Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners. […] Information is power, and the gain you get from empowering your associates more than offsets the risk of informing your competitors.
5. Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. […] We like to hear it often. […] Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free – and worth a fortune.
6. Celebrate your successes. Find some humor in your failures. Don`t take yourself so seriously.
7. Listen to everyone in your company. And figure out ways to get them talking.
8. Exceed your customer’s expectations. […] Give them what they want – and a little more. […] Make good on all your mistakes, and don’t make excuses – apologize. […] The two most important words I ever wrote were on that first Wal-Mart sign: SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.
9. Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage.
10. Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your nice by going in exactly the opposite direction.

Samuel M. “Sam” Walton – American entrepreneur, founder of Walmart (1918-1992), from “Sam Walton, Made in America: My story” (1992)