A Message From Mr. Sam Comes Alive in 2022

Mr. Sam

Doug McMillon’s latest earnings update had us running to the Walmart World archives! 

Did you catch Doug McMillon’s video about fourth quarter earnings? Despite a challenging few years, we’ve wrapped up another strong year—because of you!


Doug reminds us that our work matters and that every associate has the power to make a difference. He recalls a letter from Sam Walton that ran in a 1991 Walmart World, referring to what Mr. Sam calls the “extra-effort associate.”


Well, we tracked down that letter and are thrilled to share it with you here!

Message to Associates

The Extra-Effort Associate


I’ve commented on a number of occasions how much I enjoy setting goals and budgets. To reach some meaningful objectives, we must have extra-effort associates.


I saw the following creed and appreciated its basic principles. The author has made some excellent points in it and I’m just wondering how many of us can adopt it as our own personal guide.


  • I am an extra-effort person. Such respect leads me to have high expectations of myself and those around me.
  • I recognize that, for success, it is essential to give more than the minimum.
  • I believe that the extra-effort person is someone to be emulated and appreciated by those wishing to achieve beyond mediocre.
  • I believe people who choose the path of extra effort are demonstrating their love for humanity and posterity.
  • In my work, I find fascination and satisfaction. This means that within limits, long hours are not drudgery, but an opportunity to fulfill my own personal expectations. For me working is one of my ways of celebrating life.
  • I believe that extra effort will ultimately result in extra return.
  • For me, extra effort is a philosophical approach to life and not just an indication of the hours worked. I believe extra effort involves the joy that comes from the application to my job of my deepest creative efforts.
  • In my work, I understand that my labor is good and positive and part of my reason for being, no matter if it takes extra effort.
  • I believe with good foundation, that every country and culture that has achieved greatness has done so because of those who have been willing to put forth extra effort.
  • The implementation of extra work is what continues to be one of the essentials to achieving greatness whether in the arts, business, education, medicine, raising children, science or the sporting world.
  • As an extra-effort person, I honor those who have inner drive for excellence. As an extra-effort person, I encourage the pursuit of goals with the highest order of integrity, hard work, courage, faith and humility.
  • As an extra-effort person, I believe it is better to achieve than not to achieve, that it is better to care than not to care. Achievement, caring and extra effort are just naturally better.
  • As an extra-effort person, I believe it is important to give something back to my community and be active in church and civic organizations.


I don’t think I could add anything that would inspire us any more than these wonderful admonitions. Let me encourage you to integrate this philosophy into your daily activities.


Here at the office, I receive in my mail, letters from everywhere containing the question, “How can I be successful?” An adequate response is difficult and I wish I could incorporate into my replies these 13 instructions which I feel are so fundamental to reaching success.


My Wal-Mart associate-partners, I salute you and thank you all for the extra-effort attitudes that have become so evident in your work habits and your personal lives. I continue to read articles and hear reports about your many achievements. We have some interesting challenges in this competitive business of retailing. We’ll need to be even better in this decade of the ‘90s if we are going to reach our goals, individually and corporately, for our Wal-Mart Company. I firmly believe that as long as we display that typical Wal-Mart spirit and apply an extra effort, “we can do anything.” Thanks. See you around.


Your friend,

Sam Walton