The US business has become successful due to the work of great business leaders possessing admirable traits and extraordinary abilities. Since the colonial era, many people have made a great contribution to the economic development of America. Some of them have designed great innovations while others have introduced more efficient ways of improving individual skills and management. Therefore, it is possible to state the American economy owes its stability and strength to the work of these great men and women. This essay seeks to discuss the personality traits as well as abilities of various entrepreneurs, explain the validity of Frederick W. Taylor’s principles of management in the modern age, and present the reasons why Sam Walton’s Wal-Mart became the leading company in the world.
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Personal Traits and Abilities Responsible for Business Success in America
Focus and Concentration
For all successful entrepreneurs, concentration and focus are extremely vital. Maxwell (2010) states that John D. Rockefeller had great concentration (p. 7). He did not pay attention to unimportant things. He stuck to his schedule and never deviated from it. Moreover, John D. Rockefeller communicated with people through written letters and not through phone calls. This allowed him to have enough time to decide whether he wanted to work with a person or not. Due to such concentration and attentiveness, he managed to monopolize the American oil refineries as well as pipelines and become the richest man in the world.
Without self-confidence, the failure of an organization is inevitable. Self-confidence means believing in one’s ability to reach all goals. According to Bob, J. Dodge, and H. Dodge (2010), Henry Ford was always self-confident and never abandoned hope (p. 3). In addition, they claim that while working for the Edison Illuminating Company, Henry Ford gained great experience in electricity. After reading about some ideas in magazines, he decided to put them into practice and asked some colleges to help him to make horseless carriages. This situation shows that Henry Ford was self-confident and possessed remarkable leadership skills. He believed in himself and inspired other people to believe in their abilities as well. He also managed to convince businessmen to give him money for creating a company. However, soon the company failed as Henry Ford knew nothing about running a business (Bob et al., 2010, pp. 3-4). Bob et al. also state that after that failure, Henry Ford took the risk of making racing cars. These cars attracted many financiers, and before his 40th birthday, the Ford Motor Company was created. Nowadays, his company is recognized and respected worldwide. Henry Ford made a significant contribution to the automobile industry. Due to his work, today people have cars that allow them to travel long distances.
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The ability to lead a company and employees is crucial to the success of a business. According to Toma and Marinescu (2013), leadership requires passion, great creativity, and good relations with other people (p. 263). Toma and Marinescu (2013) say that Steve Jobs was a great leader who, together with Ronald Wayne and Stephen Wozniak, formed a company (p. 265). As Jobs and his colleagues needed venture capital, they sold some of their things. Later, their passion and hunger for success allowed them to launch the personal computer revolution. In 1985, Job resigned from the company he had founded and formed another company called NeXT. Toma and Marinescu (2013) argue that in 1996, NeXT was bought by Apple, and Jobs returned to his former company (p. 265). He helped to redesign Macintosh and iPad, which have become an integral part of modern life. Overall, Steve Jobs and his colleagues made a huge contribution to the world of technology, and his inventions still benefit the American economy.
Assessing the Significance of the Above-Mentioned Traits and Abilities
Analyzing the above-mentioned traits and abilities, it is possible to state that today they remain unique ingredients of success as well. All these individuals, who made the United States an economic giant, had similar traits, abilities, and approaches towards running their businesses. They were extremely persevering and diligent people who knew what they wanted to achieve in life and worked hard towards their goals. Nowadays, many ambitious individuals copy their traits seeking self-actualization as well as the expansion of their businesses within and beyond the borders of the Unites States of America. This means that the above-mentioned traits are still important in the modern world.
The validity of Frederick W. Taylor’s Ideas of Management
According to the National Humanities Center (n.d.), Frederick W. Taylor is considered to be the father of scientific management (p. 1). His ideas of management are rather modern, and many generations find them very useful. Frederick W. Taylor carefully covered all aspects involved in the management and presented the four principles of management. Firstly, each individual should have a specific role and be aware of duties he or she is supposed to perform in the organization. Secondly, all individuals should be carefully selected and well trained in order to ensure higher productivity, whereas in the past everyone chose his or her own work and trained himself or herself. Thirdly, managers should cooperate with all workers so as to ensure that the work is done in accordance with the requirements and rules of a particular organization. This principle allows people to work in harmony towards a common goal. Fourthly, there should be an equal division of responsibilities between the management and workers. The management should do all the work for which they are better fitted than workers. Moreover, the management should also be carefully selected. They should have extraordinary abilities and leadership skills to supervise workers (National Humanities Center, n.d., p. 1).
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According to the National Humanities Center (n.d.), the management plan all the work and give a task to every worker in advance so that he or she knows what is to be done. Moreover, the management provides workers with written instructions stating the deadline and explaining how the work should be done. If the work is completed within the specified time, the worker is rewarded with a bonus.
It is evident that Frederick W. Taylor’s principles are still used even in modern society. The human resource management is the backbone of every organization since it is extremely important to rightly select individuals for the work. Almost all organizations take this step seriously and try to hire only the best candidates. The next step is to properly train these individuals and later make them part of the team. The main aim of every organization is to ensure high productivity and high profits to the employer respectively. If this is achieved, the welfare of employees is also improved since the organization is able to be independent (Turan, 2015, p.1103). However, Frederick W. Taylor’s third principle may not be applied in the modern world. Currently, the management and workers have a master-servant relationship; employees’ opinions have little influence since the main thing is to follow instructions. Frederick W. Taylor’s fourth principle of equal division of responsibilities between workers and the management is also used by many organizations. Nowadays, the management plan the work while employees do it. Therefore, it may be concluded that Fredrick W. Taylor’s ideas are still valid since he knew how to improve production and profitability of organizations.
How Sam Walton’s Wal-Mart Became the Largest Company in the World
According to Vedder (2006), Sam Walton understood people the way Thomas Edison understood innovation. In 1962, he borrowed $2500 from his wife’s parents and established Wal-Mart, a small retailing company in Kansas. Within a couple of years, Wal-Mart became the leading company in the United States of America. Moreover, a decade after Sam Walton’s death, the company ascended to the top spot of the Fortune list of the best global companies.
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Sam Walton was good at business and supported the concept of discounts. He worked hard to cut out wholesalers, bargained with suppliers, and used minimal advertisement to purchase his merchandise at relatively low cost and then sell it to his customers also at low cost so as to get an edge over his competitors (Vedder, 2006, p. 54). This practice made him popular among his customers, and his business began to rapidly expand; therefore, he decided to open branches in other parts of the country. Sam Walton always tried to improve his business and introduce more effective ways of reducing the cost of production such as the use of advanced machinery, which allowed him to give a bigger discount to customers. As a result, his business became known all over the world (Vedder, 2006, p. 59).
According to Ghosh (2014), Sam Walton had great leadership skills that enabled him to manage his businesses so well (p. 10). He was a hard-working person who successfully encouraged his employees to work hard as well. Ghosh further states that Sam Walton was a natural leader who supported teamwork and inspired his employees to help each other for the good of the company.
Bergdahl (n.d.) claims that Sam Walton’s respect for his employees is another reason why his business succeeded (p. 9). He valued his employees just as he valued his loyal customers. He considered them to be his associates and ensured that they also enjoyed part of the success of the company by giving them bonuses. Moreover, Sam Walton respected his employees so much that he renamed the Human Resources Department the “People Division.” Owing to his traits of character, he managed to overcome all difficulties and become one of the best entrepreneurs of his generation.
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To conclude, all business leaders deserve praise as they work hard to make the U.S. the business center of the world. Among best-known business leaders were John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne, and Stephen Wozniak. They possessed a massive wealth of knowledge and overcame all problems to fulfill their dreams. Moreover, their leadership skills, self-confidence, concentration, and passion were the things that made them successful. It is clear that these qualities have not changed over the years, and many modern business leaders have them. Frederick W. Taylor was also among people who promoted the development of US business. He introduced the four principles of management, which are still used today. Since these principles improve the productivity of the organization, they will be always valid. One more person who managed to achieve success was Sam Walton. His Wal-Mart became the largest company in the world because he supported the concept of discounts and worked hard to purchase and sell his merchandise at a low price. In addition, he encouraged teamwork and inspired his employees to help each other.