Summary of Lessons from the Heart of American Business

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Lessons from the Heart of American Business book summary


7 Overall

6 Applicability

6 Innovation

9 Style


Gerald Greenwald presents a personal account of his experiences as an executive at the Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Corp. and United Airlines and describes the lessons he learned along the way. He recounts some of the most interesting tales of corporate life in the United States, from the near collapse of Chrysler to airline labor conflicts, and uses these accounts to illuminate the failures and successes of different management styles. He discusses leadership lessons on how to motivate employees, inspire teamwork and improve communication. He writes, with the help of senior Chicago Tribune writer, Charles Madigan, in an engaging personal style that makes this an interesting read. Though getAbstract cautions that some of Greenwald’s lessons will be familiar, his congenial, thoughtful approach makes them excellent reminders of what works and what doesn’t.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Greenwald’s leadership pulled Chrysler and United Airlines out of debt;
  • Why it is important for leaders to admit what they do not understand; and
  • Why bureaucracy often stands in the way of good ideas.

About the Authors

Gerald Greenwald is a former chairman and CEO of United Airlines and former vice-chairman of Chrysler Corporation. He has held top managerial positions at Ford Motor Company, Dillon Read and Olympia & York. Charles Madigan is a senior writer for The Chicago Tribune.



Admit What You Don’t Know
As he moved from one company to another, Gerald Greenwald could always recognize what he didn’t know. Though he never understood cars in the visceral way embraced by most auto- industry insiders, he spent more than 40 years working for Ford and Chrysler. He came...

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category