wisdom to win

 Wisdom to Win
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Jan Carlzon (1941- )Jan Carlzon


Highly successful Swedish boss of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) from 1981 to 1994 (pictured right) .


Key book


Moments of Truth (1989)

Empower front line employees (with direct customer contact) to delight customers every time they meet them (“moments of truth”).

This empowerment comes from:

  • minimizing layers of management.
  • respect for the individual.
  • giving employees information and freedom to take responsibility for customer delight.
  • effective leadership (see below).

The best leader is an “enlightened dictator” who compassionately imposes a customer driven vision but inspires people to achieve it by communicating “with soul”.

Spiritual inspiration is vital for success, as the builders of a cathedral will tell you.


Key quotes on customers

Only the customer, and the customer alone, will pay our costs and provide our profits.

Who knows best what the customer wants? Of course, those who work in the front line closest to the market. Consequently, it is those people who should have maximum influence on how we shape our products, and the greatest amount of responsibility and authority should be pushed their way.

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