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:
In the summer of 2016, Curtis Dawkins, a felon who is serving a life sentence in Michigan for murdering a man during a botched robbery, got some unexpected good news. Scribner, one of the top literary publishing houses in the United States, wanted to publish his debut collection of short stories, and offered him $150,000.

When "The Graybar Hotel" came out last summer, he was praised as a gifted stylist whose stories illuminated the often overlooked lives of prisoners. The book was also a boon for his family: Mr. Dawkins directed the money into an education fund for his three children.

But his surprising literary debut also caught the attention of Michigan's attorney general, who now wants Mr. Dawkins, 49, to use his financial windfall to pay for his incarceration...

The Booker Prize Foundation has launched the Golden Man Booker Prize to mark its 50th anniversary. This special one-off award will crown the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize, as chosen by five judges and then voted for by the public.

The Golden Man Booker will put all 51 winners – which are all still in print – back under the spotlight, to discover which of them has stood the test of time, remaining relevant to readers today.

Barnes & Noble is trimming its staff, laying off lead cashiers, digital leads and other experienced workers in a company-wide clearing, CNBC has learned from sources familiar with the matter.

The news came abruptly for many workers who showed up Monday morning at various Barnes & Noble locations to be notified that they no longer had a job. The number of affected workers couldn't immediately be determined. As of April 29 of last year, Barnes & Noble employed about 26,000 people.

The American Library Association presented their annual book awards today.

The Newbery medal went to Erin Entrada Kelly for Hello, Universe (Greenwillow Books) and the Caldecott Medal to Matthew Cordell for Wolf in the Snow (Feiwel & Friends).

Nina Lacour won the Michael L. Printz Award for We Are Okay (Dutton Children's), and Angela Johnson won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature." The William C. Morris YA Debut award went to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray), which also won the Odyssey audiobook award. Deborah Heiligman's Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers (Henry Holt) won the Excellence in Nonfiction award, while Larry Dane Brimner won the Sibert Medal for distinguished informational book for the Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 (Calkins Creek).

Jacqueline Woodson received the Wilder Award, honoring an author or illustrator whose books have "made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."

Renee Watson received The Coretta Scott King award for Piecing Me Together (Bloomsbury Children's), and Eloise Greenfield received the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Former Hong Kong-based Causeway Bay Books manager Lam Wing-kei said during an interview with a foreign radio station on Tuesday that it is almost certain that he will open a book store in Taiwan and if the operation of the store is smooth, he will consider going back to Hong Kong to open a new book store.

Lam is one of five men associated with publisher and bookstore Causeway Bay Books who disappeared at the end of 2015 and reappeared in China a few months later. He said they were kidnapped by Chinese public security. The incident directed the world's attention to the issue of China's heavy-handed suppression of free speech and press.

More than 1,100 new words were included in the latest update to the Oxford English Dictionary's online edition, with more than 100 of them relating to parenting.

"Mansplain" also enters the dictionary for the first time. According to the OED, just 10 years ago the word did not exist, "but the verb (of a man: to explain something needlessly, overbearingly, or condescendingly, especially to a woman, in a manner thought to reveal a patronising or chauvinistic attitude) and the concept it describes now have a firm foothold in the language".

Gui Minhai, the Hong Kong bookseller and publisher who has twice been seized by Chinese authorities--most recently on January 20--is being awarded the International Publishers Association's Prix Voltaire for "his bravery in continuing to publish despite the risks involved."

The National Book Foundation today announced it will present the National Book Award for Translated Literature, beginning this year at the 69th National Book Awards in November. This prize, which represents a fifth National Book Award category, will honor a work of fiction or nonfiction that has been translated into English and published in the U.S.

The poet and author Helen Dunmore, who died in June 2017, has been awarded the Costa book of the year for her final poetry collection, Inside the Wave.

Dunmore, who died last year aged 64, is only the second posthumous winner of the book of the year category in the prize's history, after her fellow poet Ted Hughes won for Birthday Letters in 1998, and only the eighth poetry collection to take the top award.

Inside the Wave considers her terminal cancer diagnosis and impending death.

Fantasy author Ursula K Le Guin has died at her home in Oregan, aged 88. A prodigious author, her career spanned more than half a century. She won numerous awards including the Nebula and Hugo science fiction and fantasy awards, the Newbery Medal, and the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 2000 the US Library of Congress designated her a Living Legend for her contribution to America's cultural heritage.

thatware.org ©