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Moments of Truth by Jan Carlzon. Paperbackpages. Published February 15th by HarperBusiness first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Moments of Truthplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Aug 03, Akira Sasabe rated it it cwrlzon amazing. I read this book several years back. This book describes and witnesses the importance of delegation and trusting your employees to make crucial decisions when they are faced with customers.

Operation manuals and corporate training must be tailored to instill visions and missions of the organization so they empower the employees and give freedom to effectively make best decisions on behalf of the organization. Jul 01, Charu rated it it was amazing. Decentralization is the logical thing to reasoning. Be a good leader, break the barriers of the pyramid, involve everyone, give them the authority, due creditreward and move ahead An amazing leadership book, help the reader to understand what does it mean to be a customer-centric company in real world May 30, Brendan Davis rated it it was amazing.

Bold approach to business 30 years ago. Resonates today with the flat organization approach. Key is to empower the operational team in the ve engaging the customer. I think companies to half the approach over the past 20 years flat, rally associates with a broad visionbut miss the opportunity to steer organization around customer first.

Great, mission command in a business context. Ian story if being bold and daring to go down the narrow path of giving away control. Delegating responsibility and authority takes courage from a leader, Jan Carlzon did it.

Aug 21, Jackson Darlow rated it liked it. Overly positive anecdotes with little substance, but told in a as-promised conversation and pleasant tone. Sep 04, Mourisham Jose rated it really liked it. Simple and timeless management lessons. Aug 07, Omar Halabieh rated it it was amazing. Moments of Truth are defined by the author as the numerous 15 seconds interaction where customers interact with front-line employees. They are the moments when we must prove to our customers that SAS is carpzon best alternative.

This book is one on transforming and leading an organization that is customer and market driven. The author argues that to deal w Moments of Truth are defined by the author as the numerous 15 seconds interaction where customers nomento with front-line employees. It also offers insight into the airline industry at the time — regulation, strategies, competition etc. What sets this book apart is the context in which the lessons are exposed — namely the numerous transformations that Jan lead at the various units he headed.


The transformation was one centered around people first and foremost, then on processes and technology second. A very quick educative and enjoyable read filled with gems of management and leadership wisdom — particularly around organizational transformation. Below are excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful: The organization is decentralized…flattened, more horizontal, structure.

This is particularly true in le businesses that being not verdda the product but with the customer. Yet, the initiative for those changes must originate in the executive suite. It is up to the top executive to become a true leader, devoted to creating an environment in which employees can accept and execute their responsibilities with confidence and finesse.

To succeed he can no longer be an isolated and autocratic decision-maker. Instead, he must be a visionary, a strategist, an informer, a teacher, and an inspirer. He is appointed mmento bring together the knowledge that is available and then create the prerequisites for the work to be done.

He creates the systems that enable him to delegate responsibility for day-to-day operations. The work still begins with something handed down from above — overall objectives carlxon achieving the company goals. Upon receiving these broad objectives, middle management first breaks them down into a set of smaller objectives that the frontline people will be able to accomplish.

At that point the role of middle manager is transformed from administration to support. It is a matter of courage, sometimes bordering on foolhardiness, combined with a large portion momenyo intuition. These characteristics may be impossible to acquire but, if possessed, can always be developed further. I routinely share the knowledge that I have about where the company is and where it should be heading versad the board unions, and employees.

For the vision to become a reality, it must be their vision too. A true leader is one who designs the cathedral and then shares the vision that inspires others to build it.

Apr 01, Mark Steed rated it really liked it Shelves: Moments of Truth – Jan Carlzon. Book Review If you think that Richard Branson had the first and last word on lessons for leadership and management from the airline industry, then think again.

The momeento to Carlzon’s success was that he and his team had a clear vision for SAS dde it would be “the best airline for the frequen Moments of Truth – Jan Carlzon. The key to Carlzon’s success was that he and his team had a clear vision for SAS that it would be “the best airline for the frequent business traveller” p.

Carlzon transformed SAS by doing away with the traditional hierarchical management structure, mmoento the pyramid to empower key personnel on the ground to make decisions so they can provide excellent customer service. The result was that “people throughout the company were able to see the vision of top management and take the initiative to put the pieces where they belonged.

The result was that Carlzon was able to shift SAS to become a customer-driven organisation that momrnto only moved from loss to profit, but also became one of the best airlines in the world.


The title “moments of truth” refers to those few key encounters between customers and key employees on the laa, on the verdac of which the reputation of the whole organisation is judged check-in assistants, air hostesses, baggage handlers etc. Carlzon’s approach challenged traditional approaches to leadership and management: Thus, the new leader is a listener, communicator, and an educator – an emotionally expressive and inspiring person who can create the right atmosphere rather than make all the decisions himself” p.


Although Moments of Truth was published 25 years ago, this book has stood the test of time and is an excellent and honest account of how one man transformed an organisation by harnessing its collective wisdom.

The leadership and management principles that he employs have been picked up in books like Liz Wiseman’s Multipliers and have a greater relevance and currency today. Sep 15, Raj rated it it was amazing. Well before he left the company inCarlzon turned the airline around by focusing on what he later called “moments of truth,” the various points at which people with the airline came in contact with airline customers. It was not a business-oriented organization, and if you look around in Europe, at least at this time, it was very rare to see an airline who’d made money in their operation.

Most of them made their money by buying and selling their assets: There was no focus on service as a business issue or service as a profit-driven part of the business. What Carlzon saw was that he had to change the culture of our company and leave behind the focus that we used to have on technical operation issues and, instead, turn our focus to the market and be customer-driven.

The whole case that I was driving was to make this very proud and very successful technical operational organization become a business enterprise or business organization.

The way I described it to people was I said, “We used to fly aircraft, and we did it very successfully. Now we have to learn the difficult lesson how to fly people. It was a major turnaround story in the Airline industry. Jan 06, Lamec Mariita rated it it was amazing. I found this book humorous. The plot was great, entertaining and fortunately the author didn’t ruin it.

You won’t be able to put this book down after starting it. The book will hold you attention from the first page to the last. It is a must read if you like Lisa Scottoline, if you have not read one of hers please start with this one and then read the others.


Between the suspense and the moments of humor, Ms. Scottoline certainly has a winner in this book. Jun 06, Marko rated it it was amazing. Great book on the new times leadership. The thoughts are inline with this time period an the book gives a e of examples on how to apply the new kind nomento leadership.

On the bad side is that the book is mostly about the flight industry but then the differences probably aren’t to big from other industries.

Moments of Truth by Jan Carlzon

Jul 04, Anna Krjatian momfnto it it was amazing. The story was practical, relevant and told humorously. Kudos to Jan Carlzon for his amazing work at SAS with decrentralising the business structure, turning around a profit and uniting a company to work as a team with autonomy and purpose.

Jan 10, Dan Harris rated it really liked it.