Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sam Walton and Homemaking?...
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, as we did. The day after Christmas, I always get the urge to spring clean -- a tad early, I know. I'm slowed down this year, as I contracted a bad cold. And, happily, there are even more family festivities to come.
Last night, when I was searching for some little bit of a Christmas movie to watch, I saw a few minutes of an article about Sam Walton. For good or for ill, he turned Wal-Mart into the empire it is today.
Here's the little snippet about Sam Walton that interested me. He once begged the head of a council of businesses to let him have ten minutes of the man's time. The head of the business council reluctantly agreed to see Sam -- for those ten minutes only, as he was squeezing Sam into a very busy day. He ended up being so mesmerized by Sam that he was still talking to him two hours later.
The council head, who is still alive, commented that he realized that Sam would do something "great". The reason he cited was that Sam always looked for people who had some expertise, and he learned everything from that person that he could. He was more interested in finding out what somebody else knew than in expounding his own opinions.
He carried this over to the "associates" (clerks) in his Wal-Mart stores. He believed that they had the best pulse on how to make Wal-Mart the best company it could be. So, whenever he traveled to a store, he spent lots of times talking to them. As the associates dealt directly with the customers, their input usually was right on target, and his willingness to listen to them was part of Wal-Mart's early success.
Sam's goal was to improve just one thing a day in his life, mostly regarding his business.
So, how does this apply to homemaking?
Well, the home keeper is vice-president and manager of a mini-economy. If we continue to look at our home management as an evolving, growing process in which we are continually improving, we will mature in our role. That means talking to women we see doing things well in the home, learning from them, and putting at least one thing from their example into practice. It also means talking to the people who actually live in our home -- our husbands and children, for example -- to make sure that we are really meeting their needs.
Of course, being a keeper at home is not a self-improvement project. There are times to just enjoy our families. Plus, we have to depend on the Lord to mold us and shape us in our role, as we need his help in everything.
Still, following Sam's example with regard to our homes can help us greatly improve as keepers of our home.