This conversation is with John Nordstrom — of the Nordstrom high-quality fashion retailer in the US — whose history has gone from a small shoe store, to having over 350 large luxury department stores — to being publicly traded on the NYSE — to being in the middle of a potential family buy back.

This conversation is about a man who cares for his family and cares for his customers. It’s authentic and it’s one of the reasons the Nordstrom company has been successful.

In this conversation, we talk about the steps Nordstrom took in growing the business. John takes us through the history of their expansion and how customer service came to be their number one priority.

We also discuss how to create a culture of trust within a company and how to inspire others to be just a little bit better every day.

We touch on the parallels between running Nordstrom and a professional sports team (he and his family brought the Seahawks to Seattle in the 1970s) and the factors that ultimately lead to running a successful organization.


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“I don’t give advice. It’s counterproductive. It takes someone away from what they’re naturally good at.”

In This Episode:

  • The importance of customer service
  • Creating a culture of trust within a company
  • The history behind rolling out the original Men’s clothing division at Nordstrom’s
  • How Nordstrom’s became a highly coveted department store in any mall
  • The story behind his family becoming owners of the Seahawks
  • Why he doesn’t give advice
  • What it was like for him once they reached significant success with Nordstrom’s
  • Why the details in each store were so important to him
  • What success means to him


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With Nordstrom, Inc., since 1958, vice president, 1965-1970, executive vice president, 1970-1975, president, 1975-1977, co-chairman, 1977—2002, director, since 1966.