James Cash Penney (1875-1971)

“A merchant who approaches business with the idea of serving the public well has nothing to fear from the competition.”

“A store’s best advertisement is the service its goods render, for upon such service rest the future, the good-will, of an organization.”

“As a rule, we find what we look for; we achieve what we get ready for.”

“Change is vital, improvement the logical form of change.”

“Clock watchers never seem to be having a good time.”

“Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.”

“Determine to do some thinking for yourself. Don’t live entirely upon the thoughts of others. Don’t be an automation.”

“Do not primarily train men to work. Train them to serve willingly and intelligently.”

“Every man must decide for himself whether he shall master his world or be mastered by it.”

“Exchange ideas frequently.”

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”

“Honor bespeaks worth. Confidence begets trust. Service brings satisfaction. Cooperation proves the quality of leadership.”

“I believe a man is better anchored who has a belief in the Supreme Being.”

“I believe in trusting men, not only once but twice – in giving a failure another chance.”

“I cannot remember a time when the Golden Rule was not my motto and percept, the torch that guided my footsteps.”

“I do not believe in excuses. I believe in hard work as the prime solvent of life’s problems.”

“I never trust an executive who tends to pass the buck. Nor would I want to deal with him as a customer or a supplier.”

“I was long brought up to think that it was nothing short of a crime to miss a sale.”

“It is always the start the requires the greatest effort.”
“It is the service we are not obliged to give that people value most.”

“It was always my practice to train salespeople under my direct supervision, and to treat children with the utmost consideration.”

“Luck is always the last refuge of laziness and incompetence.”

“Men are not great or small because of their material possessions. They are great or small because of what they are.”

“My definition of an executive’s job is brief and to the point. It is simply this: Getting things done through other people.”

“No business can succeed in any great degree without being properly organized.”

“No company can afford not to move forward. It may be at the top of the heap today but at the bottom of the heap tomorrow, if it doesn’t.”

“No matter what his position or experience in life, there is in everyone more latent than developed ability; far more unused then used power.”

“No serious-minded man should have time for the mediocre in any phase of his living.”

“Responsibilities are given to him on whom trust rests. Responsibility is always a sign of trust.”

“Salesmanship is limitless. Our very living is selling. We are all salespeople.”

“Salesmanship, too, is an art; the perfection of its techniques requires study and practice.”

“Selling is our No. 1 job. Never get away from selling a lot of merchandise personally. The more you sell the more you learn.”

“Success cannot come from standstill men. Methods change and men must change with them.”

“Success will always be measured by the extent to which we serve the buying public.”

“I believe in trusting men, not only once but twice – in giving a failure another chance.

“Responsibilities are given to him on whom trust rests. Responsibility is always a sign of trust.”

“The art of effective listening is essential to clear communication, and clear communication is necessary to management success.”

“The best of merchandise will go back to the shelf unless handled by conscientious, tactful salesman.”

“The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.”

“The disciplined are free.”

“The five separate fingers are five independent units. Close them and the fist multiplies strength. This is organization.”

“The Golden Rule finds no limit of application in business.”
“The greatest teacher I know is the job interest.”

“The keystone of successful business is cooperation. Friction retards progress.”

“The men who have furnished me with my greatest inspiration have not been men of wealth, but men of deeds.”

“The thought in my mind was that I must be a good merchant. If I were a good merchant, the rest would probably take care of itself.”

“The well-satisfied customer will bring the repeat sale that counts.”

“Theory is splendid but until put into practice, it is valueless.”

“There has never been a time when a career in the Penney Company was not a challenge that brought out the best in a man.”

“There’s no better friend to any merchant than a fair competitor.”

“Too many would-be executives are slaves of routine.”

“We can serve our customers well only if our buying jobs are right. You cannot sell if you haven’t ordered wanted goods into your store.”

“We get real results only in proportion to the real values we give.”

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