Book Review

NUTS! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success – Book Review Greg L.Thomas | Category: Book Review

In the forward of this book Tom Peters says, “If you take time to read only one business book this year, I strongly encourage you to read NUTS!  We wholeheartedly agree! Between the covers of this entertaining book Kevin and Jackie Freiberg have captured the essence of the “Southwest Spirit” that has made Southwest Airlines one of the top companies in America. Although Southwest served over 90 million bags of peanuts in 1999, there is nothing “nuts” about the way they run their company. Southwest topped the list of Fortune magazine’s Best Companies To Work For in 1998, and since then has been in one of the top four slots every year.


This book is a must read for anyone who wants to see how the concepts of servant leadership are actually put into practice in a real company of over 30,000 employees. You will learn about a company that practices the golden rule as corporate policy—and has paid quarterly dividends for 97 consecutive quarters doing it! The “Southwest culture” described at length in the book gives this company its strategic advantage. This culture genuinely cares about the welfare of the Southwest employees—which are approximately 82% unionized. Southwest Airlines has turned a profit every year since 1973, yet it maintains the lowest fares in a highly competitive industry. It is one of the most admired airlines in the world, regularly ranks best in customer service, and has a consistently high safety record. Southwest was the first airline to establish a home page on the Internet, and was named by BusinessWeek as a “Web Smart 50” company.


Some of the book’s statistics about the airline are now out of date due to incredible growth. More recent statistics are readily available at Southwest’s web site ( However, the principles discussed in this book that are used to guide this most admired airline are timeless.



NUTS! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success

Bard Press, October 1996 (363 pages in hardbound)

Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub, March 1998 (362 pages paperback reprint edition)

Authors: Kevin and Jackie Freiberg

ISBN 0767901843



weLEAD rating highly recommended.



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