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Why U.S. Cellular has what it takes to stay in the game in 2009 and beyond

Chicago, Oct. 26, 2009 - Every business leader is looking for a "magic bullet." Bookstores nationwide are filled with the latest leadership tricks designed to motivate employees or produce better results. Some work for a while; few produce lasting value.

This story is different.

The Pursuit of Something Better: How An Underdog Company Defied the Odds, Won Customers' Hearts, and Grew its Employees Into Better People by consultants Dave Esler and Myra Kruger presents a rare and inspiring case study for CEOs, executives, consultants and entrepreneurs. This new way of winning has been systematically cultivated, tested and measured over the past decade in one of the country's most important and least-known social experiments.

The Pursuit of Something Better is being highly praised by leadership experts, book reviews and business leaders. It proves very clearly that there is a better way to create lasting value for a company, that traditional assumptions about workers and what motivates them are no longer valid, and that ethical conduct can be a competitive advantage. Perhaps most importantly, real effective leadership is not possible without a foundation of values.

The Pursuit of Something Better tells the story behind the leadership of U.S. Cellular, a regional wireless service provider whose nearly 9,000 associates specialize in delighting six million customers and giving their giant competitors heartburn. While most companies are scrambling to apply traditional recession-era tactics, battling poor press and earnings reports, this organization is giving millions to its communities and revamping its infrastructure and planning for the future. Its associates are proud and delighted to work there. 95% of them have confidence in the leaders. Associates report they have become better spouses, parents and citizens because they work in this company.

No layoffs are occurring here; the company is hiring and investing in the future during a recession; its highly engaged associates are willing to sacrifice their pay for their teams, they have the industry's most loyal customers, and an uncommon bedrock base of ethics is what makes their associates proud. Those are just a few of the rewards that followed when U.S. Cellular's CEO Jack Rooney overhauled the entire company culture. Esler and Kruger detail how he did it in an entertaining, candid and superbly written book.

About U.S. Cellular:
The 9,000 associates of U.S. Cellular believe a wireless phone enhances people's lives and a wireless company should be in the business of bringing people together. U.S. Cellular has a wide range of monthly plans, including those with unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited free incoming calls and options to prepay. The company has a growing catalog of phones like the BlackBerry® Pearl and Curve, and the touch-screen Samsung Delve, which offer e-mail and Web access. Based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular is the nation's fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company visit one of its retail stores or

About the Authors:
Dave Esler and Myra Kruger combined their 30 years of corporate communications, human resources, and consulting experience as Esler Kruger Associates in 1987, based in Chicago, Ill. Their consulting firm focuses on culture change, organizational surveys, and executive counsel on effective leadership. The Pursuit of Something Better: How An Underdog Company Defied the Odds, Won Customers' Hearts, and Grew its Employees Into Better People by Dave Esler and Myra Kruger (ISBN: 978-0-9824437-0-5, $15.95, New Ridge Books). Available wherever books are sold.