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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Sam Walton
Blockbuster businesses start with an idea and an eagerness to work
Do you admire what the Olympic athletes have been able to accomplish, and do you think they should be applauded for their outstanding performances? Most people in the world would answer the question in the affirmative. Most people also admire and applaud great musicians and artists.
You find them in all walks of life. They might be playing outfield for the Philadelphia Phillies (Shane Victorino). Or hosting the show "Dirty Jobs" for the Discovery Channel (Mike Rowe). Or founding Wal-Mart (Sam Walton). Or even becoming president of the United States (Gerald Ford).
Do not, I repeat, do not read this book if you plan to savor the coming 11 months of political blather-skating by our apparent seekers of high office. For if you have read this book, their pious sloganeering and obfuscations during the campaign debate orgies may cause you to kick the cat across the room and do violence to your new flat-screen television.
Capitalism is the most powerful engine for prosperity in the history of humankind. Though imperfect, as are all human constructs, the free market is still the most effective antidote to poverty and, what's more, it's the most moral method for allocating scarce resources. As we were reminded by the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, titan of industry and unapologetic capitalist, it's pretty darn cool, too.
As CEOs, Sam Walton, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs possessed common traits. They were tireless workers, demanding bosses and sticklers for detail. They were visionaries, too, who reshaped their respective industries.
Under withering opposition from hundreds of historians, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. abruptly abandoned plans Wednesday to build a Supercenter near a hallowed Civil War site where Robert E. Lee first met Ulysses S. Grant on the field of battle in 1864.
People can get attention either from their accomplishments or from their deliberate attempts to get attention. Today, almost everywhere you look, people seem to be putting their efforts into getting attention.
And although current CEO Mike Duke didn't join the company until 1995, three years after Walton's death, he mentioned the founder's name at least four times at the annual shareholders' meeting in June.