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Guts!: Companies That Blow the Doors Off Business-As-Usual [Hardcover]

Kevin Freiberg , Jackie Freiberg
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Dec 2003
Kevin and Jackie Freiberg’s previous book, Nuts!: Southwest Airline’s Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success, described the unconventional leadership that made Southwest an airline industry dynamo. In GUTS!, the Freibergs look at twenty-five gutsy and extraordinarily successful businesses and introduce the chief executives who are creating a new corporate ethos that blows the doors off business-as-usual.

Drawing on five years of research, the Freibergs provide a behind-the-scenes look at these intensely focused, passionate, and unconventional leaders and their companies. Among them:

• James Blanchard, CEO of Synovus Financial, a financial services giant with more than 16 billion dollars in assets
• Roy Spence, Jr., President of GSD&M Advertising, which AdWeek magazine named Southwest Agency of the Year seven times
• James Goodnight of SAS, a world leader in intelligence software

Although the leaders in the book represent a wide-range of industries, they share a common vision: They see business as a heroic cause and understand that good leadership isn’t a matter of position, but of influence. They reject hierarchical rules, rituals, and expectations, and have replaced in-the-box management with a culture based on passion and innovation. They regard their employees not as “human resources,” but as individuals with unique gifts and talents. And make everyone in the company responsible for the company’s brand and culture.

An exciting follow-up to Nuts!, which has sold nearly 500,000 copies in hardcover and paperback, GUTS! proves that it is possible to have fun, live your values, and still make money.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Currency (Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385509618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385509619
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,206,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This book gives insight in to exceptional leadership journeys that transformed organisations and created mark on the business world. In this book Kevin and Jackie Freiberg has illustrated leadership strategies of the companies that made them great. Great place to work, great to work with and great to be associated with. These companies and organisations are well respected by society & communities; even better !!!

Leaders of these organisations are referred to as "Gutsy Leaders" because of their unconventional and innovative approaches that transformed the organisation. They risked everything for their passion, belief, motive and desire to bring the change. Results were extra-ordinary. for Southwest Airlines, Synovus, USAA, USS Benfold, Bon Marche, GSD&M, TDIndustries, Medtronic, Monarch School, Planet Honda, Quad/Graphics, SAS Institute, E&Y and Fredric's.

These "Gutsy" leaders tried untraditional and innovative ways to bring happiness and joy in everything they do, including "business". They substituted "position & ego" with "passion & trust"; they regard employee as "unique individuals and owners" not as "resources or commodities" and their motive is not only to deliver "service or product" to the customer, but deliver "experience".

It's all about Guts !!!. Gutsy Leaders Blow the Doors Off Business as Usual, Gutsy Leaders Brand Their Cultures, Gutsy Leaders Create a Sense off Ownership, Gutsy Leaders Hire People Who don't Such, Gutsy Leaders Lead with Love, Gutsy Leaders Make Business Heroic, Gutsy Leaders Inspire Fun and Great Leaders Gotta Have Guts!. These are chapters from the book but illustrate the true sense of unconventional and innovative approaches of "Gutsy" leadership.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pulse of success 15 Jan 2004
By Ken Howell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Kevin and Jackie Freiberg have done it again. In "Nuts!" they told the story of the growth of a fledgling airline that has grown to lead the industry today. In their new book "Guts!" they have once again placed their fingers on the pulse of business success and share with us stories of triumph.
What is apparent after reading this book is that to create a successful business you must create a customer base that sings your companies praises loud and strong to anyone who will listen. But, to do that effectively you must first create a working environment that causes your employees to sing your companies praises louder and stronger!
This is exactly what the business leaders in "Guts!" have done. Kevin and Jackie not only tell the story of business leaders that have vision, they tell the stories of business leaders capable of turning their vision into action.
Being a visionary is not all there is to being a leader. Being a leader that can transfer that vision into action is what Champions are made of. "Guts!" gives us dynamic examples of Champions who care enough to give the whole 9 yards.
This book is a "Must Read" for anyone responsible for the well being of people.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick peek inside some successful organizations 27 April 2005
By Frank Chen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The husband-and-wife time of Kevin and Jackie Freiberg offer up a book filled with leadership advice built around stories of successful companies ranging from SAS to Whole Foods, Southwest Airlines to Synovus.

In general, I'm skeptical of business books which profile large companies written by people who have never run a large company. First, there's the "do as I say, not as I do (or have done)" credibility gap. And second, this genre tends to attribute too much of a company's overall success or failure to a single personality.

Having said that, I think the Freibergs have done a decent job of wrapping their high-level advice (e.g., create a sense of ownership, lead with love, make business heroic) around stories and interviews that are engaging, well-written, and carefully selected to make their point. And it's always intriguing to learn how a name-brand organization got its start.

On the other hand, be prepared for some dramatic (over-?)simplification of complex realities. The company case studies are less case studies and more one-dimensional illustrations the authors carefully package to make the point they want to make. Sometimes it feels just a little glib, as in "let me tell you this cute story that just so happens to illustrate the general leadership principle I'm pushing in this chapter."

My favorite chapter was about how gutsy leaders lead with love. As a person of faith, I find the idea of servant leadership (popularized by authors such as Robert Greenleaf and Peter Vail) powerful and resonant with my own religious beliefs. I also enjoyed the chapter on how effective leaders tie their organization's mission to a heroic cause. To illustrate this point, the authors tell the story of how one teacher's (Sandra McBrayer) heroic vision to teach homeless kids galvanized the San Diego community to build an entire school for disdvantaged kids called Monarch High School (complete with its own restaurant created with the help of Ralph Rubio, cofounder and CEO of Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill).

The book is visually attractive -- not quite as arresting as Tom Peter's new book called "Re-imagine!", but the layout, color, pull quotes, and photos call attention to the main points well.

Overall, it's worth a quick read for some interesting stories and a few ideas to consider as you think about how to improve your own organization's culture.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guts! A different kind of business book! 1 Jan 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Friebergs have met their own mission "to tell stories that improve organizations and inspire people to live bigger, better, more fulfilling lives." Backed by years of research and interviews, Guts! gives voice to a disparate group of business leaders who show us that vision, passion, living one's values, and treating people with openness and trust are the keys to greatness.
Like Nuts!, Guts! is a different kind of business book. Most are either dry (and boring) or simple "enter-trainment" (fluff without substance). This book is a delight to read. It's written using the same principles it espouses for business: it's fun, different, creative and gutsy. And filled to the brim with practical advice that can and should be used by anyone - business owners and men and women at all levels in their organizations. The Gut Checks are especially good as both summaries of the information and guidelines for the reader's own actions.
The principles in Guts! aren't just great business ideas; they make sense for any organization. Imagine these principles in use in schools, government institutions, in fact in human relationships in any setting. The book inspired me. I read it and found myself dreaming of great new ideas for use with my business clients, my university students, and my family. I am giving copies to everyone.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FROM NUTS! TO GUTS! - ANOTHER BUSINESS CLASSIC 26 Dec 2003
By "dful193" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I didn't expect the Freibergs to actually surpass their first book, NUTS!-but they did! This book is another illuminating journey that shatters the status quo and kick-starts a re-evaluation of goals and what constitutes accomplishment. They present real life examples of leaders with the fire in their guts(!) to not merely succeed, but to re-create the whole definition of excellence. This is a book that should be required reading for anyone in a position of leadership-or aspires to be.
When it was first released, I gave NUTS! to my whole staff. It was an investment that, I know, paid dividends for years. They'll all have a late Christmas present from me once again, very soon---GUTS!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guts- A Must for Business Leaders and Those Aspiring to Lead 26 Dec 2003
By Peggy Eddy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jackie and Kevin Freiberg have done it again. Their newest extraordinary book, GUTS, takes off from where their previous book, NUTS, ended. From a school for homeless teens to a Navy ship, from USAA to the SAS Institute, the Freibergs delight their reader with incredibly inspiring tales of gutsy leadership. The Freibergs describe "gutsy leaders" as "passionate men and women who don't hesitate to slaughter the sacred cows of convention." GUTS provides real life practical guidelines on how to get the best from each individual in an organization and have fun doing so. In addition, the book gives valuable insights into unique busines leaders who lead with their hearts, as well as with their heads, in making magnificent decisions and positive changes in the work place. GUTS is a book which convincingly proves that a gutsy leader can make a real difference in the world and make real profits doing so. GUTS is the book for anyone who believes that "the world is changed by people willing to take risks." GUTS inspires us all to follow in their gutsy footsteps.
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