Book Review: “From Worst To First: Behind The Scenes Of Continental’s Remarkable Comeback” By Gordon Bethune (1998, 304 Pages)
A remarkable story, a remarkable CEO, a remarkable book.
In this book, the former CEO of Continental relates one of Corporate America’s biggest turnarounds.
He led the transformation of Continental, then the worst airline in the U.S. – which had gone into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection twice and had suffered through 10 leaders in 10 years -, in a record-breaking company in terms of operational excellence, profitability, and employee happiness.
The book is extraordinary in that it shows that the most efficient business strategies and tactics are those that value simplicity and grant the greatest importance to the human factor.
Bethune may not emerge in this book as an intellectual – a role that too many corporate executives want to play – but he stands out as a master leader and that’s what made the difference at Continental.