Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines

Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines

Herb Kelleher founded and led Southwest airlines from a humble beginning to an established, respectable company with a unique culture and reputation (Manz & Sims, 2001). The airline company enjoyed great financial due the creation of an empowering corporate culture through the leadership skills of Kelleher. In 2000, Fortune Magazine named Southwest the most admired airline. His leadership qualities include innovation, keeping a focus on customer, and devotion to employees. The pivot to Kelleher’s leadership lies in the values that he consistently expressed and instilled among employees and in the organization (Marjorie, 2012). Employees enjoy a refreshing environment designed to cultivate self-leadership among members of Southwest. On bosses’ day, the Southwest workers contributed their own money, raising $60,000 to him for being a friend (Manz & Sims, 2001). He was a boss and a friend.

He demonstrates the skills expressed by Kouzes and Posner by employing leadership traits that focus on human resources qualities throughout business and leadership. He balanced the time for partnerships and the time for driving the human resource. Kelleher applied strategies that left a great impression on the business sector. He is not only a leader, but a person that motivates a systematic organization, turning members of Southwest into leaders driven by collective responsibility. He was an ecstatic and combative leader. His leadership skills were crucial to how the company cope with the past slow growth in the economy and events such as 9/11. The profits are the evidence. He spent countless number of hours putting in place the fundamentals of corporate culture to empower Southwest employees.

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