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From Worst to First: Behind the Scenes of Continental's Remarkable Comeback
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From Worst to First: Behind the Scenes of Continental's Remarkable Comeback

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  148 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In "From Worst to First," business legend Gordon Bethune tells the complete inside story of how he and his team engineered one of the most dramatic comebacks in the history of business. As inspiring as it is instructive, it is the story of how a plain-speaking ex-Navy aircraft mechanic, armed with a few common-sense notions about good management and the courage to look pas ...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published May 12th 1998 by John Wiley & Sons
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Jan 07, 2012 Virginia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the book. I started at Continental before Gordon joined the company, so when it was at its worst. He really turned it around, made the employees feel like we were really important in the overall picture. I truly admire the man. The book is great, lots of humor, read it while on a flight to Europe and several times I had to put it aside as I was laughing so hard I was getting lots of looks!
May 30, 2013 Ahmed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كناب رائع ومفيد يتحدث عن اعاده بناء شركه طيران ارهقتها الخسائر والديون لكي تصبح واحده من افضل الشركات في امريكا
Gerhard Peters
I recently purchased this book. It is a fascinating story about Continental Airlines written by the CEO Gordon Bethune himself . Continental Airlines filed for bankruptcy twice (1980_s and in 1993) and was on the verge of once again to file for bankruptcy in late 1994 when Gordon Bethune took over. The story is about how Bethune revolutionized the company from being the worse Airline to fly with in the USA and abroad to being one of the first. He talks about how he changed the whole culture at t ...more
June Ding
Mar 17, 2016 June Ding rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gordon Behune was the CEO at Continental from 1994 until he retired in 2004. In short period of time, he turned around an airline that was at the edge of a third bankruptcy to the best airline in the world. It is a book about leadership. He made it sound very simple: build the best product and have employees who love coming to work. But why he did it, why his predecessors failed? He used his no BS and straightforward style and told the stories how he and his top leadership team changed the compa ...more
Oct 02, 2012 Edgard rated it it was amazing
After Frank Lorenzo grew the company to near extinction, Gordon was the much needed change Continental Airlines needed. With simplicity an obvious and blunt honesty, he transformed a company in ruins to a brand people sought. This book is the story of "back to the basics," and "culture overhaul" that Corporate America needs from time to time. This is the Cinderella story that still is the backbone of one of the largest airlines in the world (I keep losing track with all the mergers), namely Unit ...more
I really liked reading this book, but he made the turnaround seem so easy and that he was always in control. I think the tools that he used to incentive-ize the company and turn the culture were amazing...but then again there was nowhere to go but he could pull some stunts that coul dnot be pulled iwht your average company becasue they were desperate.
Edward Wong
This is my first airline business referecne book. It makes me admire Mr. Bethune and the airline very much and have keeping an eye on Continental's development ever since. So sad to see in go under the banner of UAL.
Keith Brooks
Dec 26, 2013 Keith Brooks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Great view of the industry and how he did it. Felt bad about the bonus at end of year but if you want a team, the team has to lose sometimes too.
Feb 28, 2009 Steva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Even though I had to read this book for a management class, I really enjoyed it, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning about how to make change and make it stick.
Ks Pillai
Aug 09, 2011 Ks Pillai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Great Book on Change Management in Airlines, must read for Aviation Executives
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“Never forget: Businesses are run by people; businesses are made up of people. So at the root of whatever problems you have in your business, you’ll find people.” 0 likes
“But I think a lot of managers and executives trying to solve problems miss the forest for the trees by forgetting to look at their people—not at how much more they can get from their people or at how they can more effectively manage their people. I think they need to look a little more closely at what it’s like for their people to come to work there every day.” 0 likes
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