Free Enterprise Staff  | July 2, 2014

#90SecondsWith: Robert Crandall

Robert Crandall was a trailblazer when he was at the helm of American Airlines in the ‘80s and ‘90s, pioneering aviation innovations such as frequent-flier miles, electronic reservations and yield management.

Yet when asked about the best idea he ever had during his tenure as president, CEO and chairman of the airline, Crandall credits his wife, Jan, with coming up with the inspiration of putting his name in the phone book to show that he truly cared about customer service.

She told him, “Don’t get a big head, you’re not that famous, you’re not that good,” Crandall says during a #90SecondsWith video with Free Enterprise.

He also discusses the importance of encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit, saying any leader who fails to “dig around” could end up losing to the competition.