The Southwest Airlines Way - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review


Over the years, several books and countless magazine and newspaper articles have been written about Southwest Airlines. Numerous MBA programs highlight the Southwest structure, its culture, its CEO, its low fares and other reasons as to why it is the bright spot in an otherwise dismally performing industry. Fortune magazine calls Southwest Airlines "the most successful airline in history." With a market value greater than the rest of the U.S. airline industry combined, Southwest Airlines is an amazing company with amazing management practices. No one, however, has completely captured the real explanation of why Southwest succeeds.

In a previous review, I highly recommended NUTS! (Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success). This laugh-a-page, inspirational book captured all the delicious myth, disarming magic, original insights, and upbeat stories of a high-energy, caring, playful culture that's sometimes hard to believe. I enjoyed it thoroughly and recommended it to anyone and everyone striving to create and maintain a successful and productive culture.

Now comes The Southwest Airlines Way ... an in-depth profile, based on eight years of field research on the airline industry. In this book, the author, Dr. Jody Gittell, has managed to identify and even quantify the powerful formula of Southwest's success. This effortless read is filled with actual examples of business processes at Southwest as compared to other airlines. You can easily see how basic practices based on internal values at Southwest, such as investing in leadership development and people, have made such a big difference. In fact, the findings reveal that Southwest's success is due to building high performance relationships with its people, customers, unions, vendors and suppliers, and the public in general.

Full of frontline tales of Southwest's innovative management style, this compelling book unveils the secret ingredient, high performance relationships, that has enabled Southwest to sustain a steady 10% to 15% rate of growth throughout its 32 year history while also turning a profit when few others can manage to break even. This great read reveals 10 practices that Southwest Airlines uses to build high performance relationships, and how they can be implemented in any organization-with dramatic results. The good news is that Dr. Gittell clearly identifies and explains each of these practices in a highly readable way that is also backed with data. The hard part is that these are not quick fixes and that the evidence indicates that most, if not all, of the practices must be adapted/adopted if another organization is to duplicate the success of Southwest.

This no-nonsense analysis takes a more serious look at the airline that continues to fascinate friend and foe alike. Learn why Southwest Airlines is valued higher than all other major U.S. Passenger air carriers combined. Learn how, in the wake of 9-11, Southwest could keep all of its employees working and continue its unblemished record of growth and profitability as other airlines laid off thousands, begged Congress for money, and filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Learn how American, Continental, United and other airlines have tried to imitate Southwest-and why they have failed.

You may not find yourself laughing as often as you did while reading NUTS!, but you'll certainly walk away with a greater respect and much deeper insight into the unique culture that will undoubtedly continue to fascinate everyone for decades to come.

More than 100 business book reviews written by Harry K. Jones are available at www.AchieveMax.com/books/index.htm">http://www.AchieveMax.com/books/.

Reprint Information

Your organization may reprint this article for your newsletter, online publication, or mailing list. We ask that you print the:

  • article in its entirety;
  • byline of the writer;
  • information about the writer, which is available at the end of each article; and
  • contact information, including our toll-free phone number in the U.S. (800-886-2MAX) and link to our website - www.AchieveMax.com.

We would appreciate a tear sheet or electronic copy of the articles you reprint.

www.AchieveMax.com/motivational-speaker-harry.htm">Harry K. Jones is a professional speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a firm specializing in custom-designed keynote presentations, seminars, and consulting services. Harry has made presentations ranging from leadership to employee retention and time management to stress management for a number of industries, including education, financial, government, healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing. He can be reached at 800-886-2MAX or by visiting www.AchieveMax.com">http://www.AchieveMax.com.


MORE RESOURCES:
According to Barnes & Noble's survey, 77% of Americans read at least one book, newspaper or magazine during Thanksgiving or other holiday travel, while 60% of travelers usually bring, buy or borrow reading material specifically for travel on Thanksgiving Eve. Some 73% of respondents said they felt that traveling on the day before Thanksgiving is a "good time to bring a book they would enjoy and be able to read," and just over a quarter of Americans feel that "bringing a book along for Thanksgiving could give them a way to get out of an uncomfortable or awkward conversation with a relative or other guest."

Anuk Arudpragasam has won the prestigious ?DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 for his novel, "?The Story of a Brief Marriage", published by Granta in the UK, and by Flatiron in the USA

Arudpragasam was awarded the $25,000 (£18,830) prize along with a unique trophy by Hon'ble Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, minister of finance of Bangladesh ?at the Dhaka Literature Festival in Bangladesh.

Little House on the Prairie Fans will likely enjoy Publishers Weekly's article, "10 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Laura Ingalls Wilder."

The national book awards for 2017 have been announced.
The winners are:
Fiction: Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing
Nonfiction: Masha Gessen, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
Poetry: Frank Bidart, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016
Young People's Literature: Robin Benway, Far from the Tree

Annie Proulx received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Indies First/Small Business Saturday 2017 and the start of the holiday shopping season are just a week and a half away (Nov 25), and more independent bookstores around the United States are finalizing their plans for the annual celebration of bookselling and small businesses. Shelf Awareness rounds up some of the planned activities...

Bookstore sales declined 6.5% this September, compared to September 2016, according to preliminary figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday morning. Sales in September were $1.01 billion, down from $1.8 billion a year ago.

The Observer newspaper continues its 2+ year project to review what it deems to be the top 100 nonfiction books of all time. The series began in February 2016 with their No. 1 pick, Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction and is on track to complete by the turn of the year. The most recent review is for The Diary of Samuel Pepys coming in at No. 92.

The Observer is the sister newspaper to the better known British newspaper, The Guardian. The Observer publishes on Sundays, The Guardian publishes on all other days of the week. Both newspapers combine their content into theguardian.com website.

With 4 million or 17% of all online ebooks being pirated, novelists including Maggie Stiefvater and Samantha Shannon say theft by fans puts their books at risk.

The playwright Tom Stoppard has won the David Cohen prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature, hailed as a "giant of 20th-century British drama" with an "outstanding and enduring body of unfailingly creative, innovative and brilliant work."

Howard Jacobson in the Guardian asks how many of us still read a book in bed?

thatware.org ©