Do the Right Thing: How Dedicated Employees Create Loyal Customers and Large Profits

James F. Parker, Author . Pearson/Wharton School $22.99 (263p) ISBN 978-0-13-234334-3

A successful company has to focus on more than the bottom line—it has to adhere to the Golden Rule, says Parker, former CEO of low-cost airline Southwest. Southwest was the only major airline to not only remain profitable after 9/11 but to do it without layoffs or pay cuts. Parker presents a chatty, informative history of the airline and its culture of mutual respect and hard work, in which his genuine love for the company shines through. Scattered throughout are observations on how to build and run a successful business, applying the general principle of “When in doubt, just do the right thing.” Parker describes the characteristics of a great leader, methods for building trust and respect, and a sober discussion of the necessity of allowing employees to enjoy work and to feel part of something meaningful. Although Parker's enthusiasm for his company is appealing and the lessons are on-target, the long stories describing everything that's superior about Southwest makes the book feel like a long ad for the airline; the story itself is too languid to take off on its own volition. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/19/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 278 pages - 978-0-13-271615-4
Paperback - 263 pages - 978-0-13-276357-8
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