Monday, August 27, 2007

Another Viewpoint on "Winners and Losers"

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I am a subscriber to my mentor's electronic newsletter that he sends to all kinds of leaders around the world. He is Howard Putnam, former CEO of Southwest Airlines.

In today's newsletter, he had a very interesting thing to say about "winners and losers" that pretty much complement my thinking on this subject. Without further ado, here is the newsletter, reprinted with his express permission. Thanks Howard.

Leadership: "It Isn't Winner Take All"
Volume 2 Number 24
by Howard Putnam

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of, was asked by USA Today about all the competition Amazon faces. He said: "Our premise is there are going to be a lot of winners. It's not winner take all. Other people do not have to lose for us to win."

A very profound statement. Many organizations think they have to put the competition out of business to succeed. Our philosophy at Southwest, when I was there, and years later it still seems to be: "Expand the size of the pie, increase the total market."

I have known Zig Ziglar, the famous motivation speaker for many years. Zig is quoted as saying about the speaking business: "If you help enough other people get what they want,you will get what you want."

When you bring people together and build on partnerships and collaborations, you also build friendships and "everyone wins."

Howard Putnam speaks on leadership, change, transformation, customer service, teams and ethics. The National Speakers Association inducted Howard into the CPAE (Council of Peers Award of Excellence) Speakers Hall of Fame in 2005. He also is accredited as a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional).

He is the former CEO of the highly successful Southwest Airlines and the first CEO to take a major airline, Braniff International, into, through and out of Chapter 11, getting it flying again in less than two years.

Howard authored "The Winds of Turbulence". If you would like more information on how purchase it go to

To check his availability as a keynote speaker or seminar facilitator, go to or call SpeakersOffice at 1-760-603-8110.

Copyright 2007 Howard Putnam Enterprises

U.S. Federal Copyright laws protect all material in this weekly subscription email. It may not be reprinted in any form, or hosted on any Web site without explicit written permission from Howard Putnam Enterprises. That includes publishing it on Web Sites, in ezines, in magazines, newspapers, or any other media, on or offline.

Howard D. Putnam, Speakers Office, Inc. 5927 Balfour Court Suite 103, Carlsbad, CA 92008

People you care the most about can get this publication by sending an email to with SUBSCRIBE PUTNAM in the subject line.
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Blogger Karen said...

John Denver has a similar line in a song about peace:
Who's to say you have to lose for someone else to win?

7:27 AM  
Blogger Stephen J. Hopson said...


Right on! I'm hoping that by sharing other people's viewpoint on the same topic, especially from someone of Mr. Putnam's business experience, people will see that there doesn't have to be competition where one has to lose for someone else to win. It's a common manmade fallacy so widely believed in society.

Thanks for commenting!


7:36 AM  

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