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on November 7, 2011
In the order of self disclosure I did work for NWA, before the Checchi/Wilson era and during their leadership. Let me say they walk the talk. I could tell you first hand stores, the difference between them both would remind you of any two sport stars that just complemented one another that made the two of them equaled three. They both had separately visited the NWA Atlanta facility, showing them around was my task. They were a total opposite, Gary, how many square feet is this hangar? You making budget? How much is the lease payment? AL, he was like he was running for mayor, shaking every hand, asking if you're getting the tools you need to do your job. Listening and looking everyone in the eye. He was fast on getting what was going on at all levels.
This is a very good read, a story of opportunity and leadership. It is far from complete, Al did not mention that they went out and did bring in additional change makers; NWA was the poster boy of stodgy management. The key motivators of old NWA were fear and distrust. In the days of the Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence) and Phil Crosby (Quality is Free) they were ahead of the pact for innovation, delivering a quality product, change and getting everyone involved in the goals of the company. Was it easy for all?, hell no, many who grew up under the hard rule of do it my way or the high way could not adjust to the open style they insisted on.
The last thought is the warning he gives to all. We need this type of change maker involved in our government and the process we have to improve it. How sad it is to think if we fire them all in 2012 we will have the same with different names in 2013.
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on September 10, 2011
I never take the time to write book reviews. But this book really affected me and I can't stop thinking about its message. Checchi's life experiences are interesting -- to be sure. But what shines through is the need for leadership -- whether it be in business or in government. His real-life experiences make him uniquely qualified to analyze why we lack the leadership and ability to get things done. I only hope our politicians take the time to read this book and really think about what's at stake for our country and consider the common sense solutions he proposes. Checchi reminds me that we are Americans first -- not Republicans, Democrats, Independents, conservatives or liberals. I'm giving this book to all of my friends to read.
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on September 2, 2011
If I could describe Checchi in one word, it would be innovative. He revolutionized the way that companies are financed, thus making Marriott the company it is today.

I was looking forward to reading Checchi's book because I always hope to glean a few pointers from those who have truly made it in the business world. This book did not disappoint as it detailed his life and dealings with Marriott, Disney and Northwest Airlines in a very thoughtful and interesting way. He offers great insight into business leadership and the choices he made to get where he is today. Also, Checchi touches on one of the major problems plaguing our political system, especially for those living in California. As Checchi and Meg Whitman realized, unless you are a shill for the public employee unions, you have no shot at winning the governor's office. Overall, a good read and if you enjoy business success stories, this is one book to get.
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on October 14, 2011
Al Checchi was probably the worst airline owner ever, competing with Frank Lorenzo for the title. When he and Gary Wilson bought Northwest through a leveraged buyout, it was the beginning of the end for Northwest which had been profitable for many years running. He and Wilson proceeded to loot Northwest under the name Wings which was the name they choose for their leveraged buyout company. Thousands of emplyees lost their jobs and the company started losing money under the leadership if the Wings folks. By the timeChecchi and Wilson left Northwest, they and enriched themselves by 10s of millions of dollars out of the Northwest coffers into their pockets. When Checchi left Northwest he then decided the state of California needed him as governor. He suffered an embarrassing defeat in the primary after spending about 40 million of his own money on the campaign. His legacy today by the Northwest employees and the voters of California hardly qualifies him to be any sort of a leader. Unfortunately I was both a Northwest manager and a California voter.
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on April 11, 2012
Was much more excited for the book than what it actually delivered. It basically just outlined Al Checchi's life and his accomplishments. It is an interesting read, but did not particularly help me understand a way to improve my life and create a difference in the world.
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on May 1, 2012
An extremely well written recount of Mr. Checchi's positive impact on this country, and his insights and guidance for leading the way to maintaining and increasing the greatness of America.
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on September 11, 2011
A thoroughly interesting and informational read. Being somewhat discouraged by the current lack of leadership in Washington and the fact that our country seems to be floundering these days, Al Cecchi's book was uplifting in that he offers hope and guidance as well as direction to empower all Americans who care and can no longer stand by and do nothing.
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on December 31, 2012
what more is there to say? I have not opened the book yet to read but it is what I requested and received.
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on April 2, 2015
Well worth your time; enjoyable and stimulating
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on December 12, 2011
An expertly written book and thoroughly enjoyable historical review, inspirational business career and perfectly rounded political and social outlook...a must read!
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