Anyone who knows me knows I am a big fan of Southwest Airlines. One of the reasons I chose to live in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood was to be near Midway Airport, Southwest’s largest airport in terms of number of flights per day.
On January 3, 2019, Herb Kelleher, Southwest’s founder and first CEO passed away. When I say Herb was great, the results of his leadership speak for themselves:
• 2018 was the 24th year Southwest appeared on FORTUNE Magazine’s Most Admired Companies list and was the only commercial airline among the Top 10.
• Southwest is the only domestic airline with a decades-long history of returning capital to Shareholders.
• Southwest is the only domestic airline with 46 consecutive years of profitability.
• Southwest has been #1 in the DOT Consumer Satisfaction Ranking for 23 of the last 27 years.
You don’t maintain these kinds of metrics in the airline industry unless you are transformational.
This week, I had the opportunity to be on a Southwest flight. In their in-flight magazine, there was a long article giving tribute to Herb Kelleher. No summary that I could provide would do this article justice. I’ve included a link to the article and recommend you read it. You’ll understand why I consider him great, and why Southwest Airlines has been so successful almost from the beginning.
Call to action: Think about the characteristics that made Herb a great leader. Consider adopting some of his practices.
Dedicated to your profitable transformation,