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The Change Maker: Preserving the Promise of America [Kindle Edition]

Al Checchi
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Entertaining, fast-paced, instructional, The Change Maker is not only a memoir, but a blueprint for how we can change our own lives, as well as the world around us, by providing personal lessons in the values of strategic thinking and responsible leadership. Through compelling true stories, both humorous and serious, Al Checchi demonstrates that through experience, vision, and courage, one person can make a difference and lead others to move beyond their comfort zones and transform our institutions.
 
Al Checchi, a remarkable change maker, chronicles how his creativity, strategic thinking, and negotiating skills helped transform three major American institutions—Marriott Corporation, Walt Disney, and Northwest Airlines—and led him to challenge the California political establishment as a candidate for governor.
 
Peppered with excerpts from speeches and articles, The Change Maker offers thoughtful perspective on institutional change in America since the 1960s, and scalding commentary on the current state of our public and private institutions, political parties, the emergent political class, and the economic policies and leadership of today’s administration.
 
The Change Maker challenges us to confront the status quo and demand accountability and a restoration of the fiduciary standards that are so vital to reclaiming and maintaining America's position of economic and political leadership. Readers will finish the book feeling revitalized, hopeful, and armed with new ideas on how change can, and always will, occur.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“Among the many books on leadership, The Change Maker occupies a uniquely powerful position. It is both a moving personal memoir written with grace, eloquence, and remarkable honesty, and a brilliant study of leadership in both the public and private sectors. This superb work deserves widespread attention.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of No Ordinary Time and Team of Rivals
 
 
The Change Maker is must reading for anyone interested in the issues of leadership, or the development of one leader’s life. Written in a lovely, lucid style, The Change Maker is an engaging memoir and a thoughtful reflection on American political and economic leadership, what has gone wrong, and how to make it right.” —Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent
 
 
“Al Checchi epitomizes the Jeffersonian ideal of the citizen leader, blending common sense, real world experience, and idealism so desperately needed and so glaringly absent in American politics today. In this inspiring and winning memoir he offers penetrating insight and profound ideas to a nation confronting a historical reckoning. America would be well served to heed this message of warning and hope.” —Pat Caddell, pollster and political commentator
 
 
The Change Maker is a richly detailed and compelling narrative of one man’s experiences and observations of the recent developments in America’s business and political landscape. Al Checchi challenges us to think about where our country is headed and what kind of America we will leave for our children.” —Al Michaels, sports broadcaster 
 

 
“Al Checchi’s account of the changes that have taken place over the course of his remarkable life will inspire, inform, and infuriate alike. His honesty and perspective are much needed as we grapple with the challenges and opportunities of our time.” — Senator Bob Kerrey
 
“Under Al Checchi’s high-octane and creative leadership, Marriott Corporation evolved its business model from being hotel owners to hotel managers, freeing up capital to rapidly expand our business. The Change Maker will inspire you to think big and pursue greatness.” — J. Willard “Bill” Marriott Jr., Chairman and CEO Marriott Corporation

Review

“Among the many books on leadership, The Change Maker occupies a uniquely powerful position. It is both a moving personal memoir written with grace, eloquence, and remarkable honesty, and a brilliant study of leadership in both the public and private sectors. This superb work deserves widespread attention.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of No Ordinary Time and Team of Rivals
 
 
The Change Maker is must reading for anyone interested in the issues of leadership, or the development of one leader’s life. Written in a lovely, lucid style, The Change Maker is an engaging memoir and a thoughtful reflection on American political and economic leadership, what has gone wrong, and how to make it right.” —Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent
 
 
“Al Checchi epitomizes the Jeffersonian ideal of the citizen leader, blending common sense, real world experience, and idealism so desperately needed and so glaringly absent in American politics today. In this inspiring and winning memoir he offers penetrating insight and profound ideas to a nation confronting a historical reckoning. America would be well served to heed this message of warning and hope.” —Pat Caddell, pollster and political commentator
 
 
The Change Maker is a richly detailed and compelling narrative of one man’s experiences and observations of the recent developments in America’s business and political landscape. Al Checchi challenges us to think about where our country is headed and what kind of America we will leave for our children.” —Al Michaels, sports broadcaster 
 

 
“Al Checchi’s account of the changes that have taken place over the course of his remarkable life will inspire, inform, and infuriate alike. His honesty and perspective are much needed as we grapple with the challenges and opportunities of our time.” — Senator Bob Kerrey
 
“Under Al Checchi’s high-octane and creative leadership, Marriott Corporation evolved its business model from being hotel owners to hotel managers, freeing up capital to rapidly expand our business. The Change Maker will inspire you to think big and pursue greatness.” — J. Willard “Bill” Marriott Jr., Chairman and CEO Marriott Corporation

Product Details

  • File Size: 773 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1453222073
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (August 30, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HX9IFI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,525 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(12)
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaders who walk the talk November 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful on Many Levels September 10, 2011
By J Kirk
Format:Kindle Edition
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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into business leadership September 2, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
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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53 of 77 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Al Checchi Does a bit of self adoration in this book October 14, 2011
By bobnwa
Format:Kindle Edition
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By W. Reel
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Change Maker April 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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