Companies that Blow the Doors
Off Business-As-Usual

Kevin & Jackie Freiberg


We’ve all seen management use the same age-old tactics day in and day out, long after they’ve stopped working. A few organizations resist doing the same old thing. They have the creativity and chutzpah to mix it up, to think innovatively and get people truly engaged. What these companies have is GUTS!

In Kevin and Jackie Freiberg’s bestselling book NUTS! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success, the authors describe the sometimes wacky, always original leadership that made Southwest an airline industry phenomenon. Now the Freibergs are back to reveal the secrets behind a number of gutsy companies who have the courage to buck the trends and follow their own path. They’re all known for unorthodox leadership – and record profits.

Drawing on five years of research, the Freibergs take the reader behind-the-scenes to examine how these intensely focused, dedicated and unconventional leaders and their companies do what they do so well. Among them:

sas logoJim Goodnight of SAS Institute, a world leader in business-intelligence software, has clients that include 98 of Fortune’s top 100 companies. Goodnight built a country-club campus to pamper his highly motivated staff, which saves his company over $60 million dollars in employee recruiting and retention.

usaa logoBob Davis, CEO of USAA, leads one of the most integrated financial services firms in the world. When it comes to customer service, this company epitomizes the word REMARKABLE! With over $66 billion in assets, a customer retention rate of 96 percent and a market share of 95 percent, USAA has established a sacred bond with its members that would be the envy of any company in the world.

gdsmRoy Spence, Jr., President of GSDM Advertising (which AdWeek magazine named “Agency of the Year” seven times), created an office complex called Idea City that is part ancient Greek marketplace, part Soho atelier to spark innovation among his creative team.

synovus logoJames Blanchard, CEO of Synovus Financial, is another financial services giant with more than 20 billion dollars in assets; Synovus is consistently ranked as one of Fortune’s best companies to work for (it was #1 in 1999). Blanchard has established a culture where people matter and assume 100% responsibility for the company’s success by advocating servant leadership.

semcoRicado Semler of Brazilian-based Semco is the epitome of insanity that works. Over the last decade Semler’s $160 million dollar company racked up an annual growth rate of 24 percent. Imagine a company where there are no job titles, no organizational charts and no policies—where workers set their own production targets and salaries. Impossible you say? Check out GUTS!

An exciting sequel to their hugely successful book, NUTS! (which has sold over 500,000 copies), GUTS! proves that it is possible to have fun, live your values, be unconventional and still make blockbuster profits.