KOSHER DELIGHT - YOUR JEWISH ONLINE MAGAZINE!
Posted: February 6, 2006 - יום
שני, ח' בשבט,
I sometimes browse through the financial section, it’s not often that I
get inspiration from financial articles, but this week I did. I was
intrigued when I read an article called, “The
Man Who Said No To Walmart.”
that Walmart is the Mecca of stores and thousands of executives venture to
Bentonville, Arkansas, hoping to get their products onto the shelves of the
world's biggest retailer, I wondered what could cause a man tell Walmart
news story, by Charles Fishman, reads as follows. Jim Wier’s company sold
lawn equipment known for its quality, reliability, durability. But the lawn
mowers Jim Wier sells are not cheap, any more than other quality appliances
come cheap. The value isn't in the price, it's in the performance and the
This got me
thinking, “How often do we take the time to recognize our value and the
value of those around us? Do we ever think about and acknowledge that we are
each a G-d made quality product?” If we would recognize and acknowledge
this maybe we would have the strength of character that let Jim Weir say no!
looked into a future of supplying his product to Wal-Mart and saw a
whirlpool of lower prices, collapsing profitability, offshore manufacturing
and the gradual but irresistible corrosion of the very qualities for which
his lawn equipment was known. Jim Wier looked into the future and saw a
death spiral and had the courage, the foresight, to take an unblinking view
of where his Wal-Mart business was heading -- not in year three, or year
four, but year 10.
many of us stop and take a fearless look at future impact before we take a
major step in our lives? Do we think about our values in marriage before we
select a spouse? Do we make sure there are appropriate neighbors before
moving our family to a different neighborhood? Do we take peer pressure into
account when choosing our social circles? Do we look down the road often
enough? Do we take an “unblinking view of the future” when making our
was not dazzled by the tens of millions of dollars' worth of lawn mowers
Wal-Mart was already selling; he was not deluded about his ability to beat
Wal-Mart at its own game, to somehow resist the price pressure. He was not
imagining that he could take the sales now and figure out the profits later.
Jim Wier believed that his company's health -- indeed, its very long-term
survival -- required that it not do business with Walmart.
times do parents come to me to help solve a problem with their children that
didn’t have to be a problem? They made a crucial decision about the
family’s religious affiliation, their child’s school or even vacation
destination and the impact of that decision didn’t hit them till many
years later. At the time their judgement seemed correct because that’s
what ‘everyone was doing’ and they didn’t have the courage to question
the popular culture, but much later it became clear that had they thought
things through they would have done differently. Too late they realized that
doing things to impress others or spending more than they could afford
wasn’t very clever.
though tens of thousands of executives make the pilgrimage to northwest
Arkansas every year to woo Wal-Mart, marshaling whatever arguments, data,
samples, and pure persuasive power they have in the hope of an order for
their products, or an increase in their current order, Jim wanted Wal-Mart
to stop selling his Snapper mowers.
struck me and Jim Wier’s actions stunned me and got me thinking. “How
often do we do a “Jim Wier”? How much anguish could we be spared if we
was in the financial section, and I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be
inspirational, but for me it was definitely food for thought!!!
more articles by Rabbi Hecht
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