Southwest Airlines: Culture and CEO Gary Kelly's Leadership

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CEO Gary Kelly and Southwest Airlines
Salvador Herrera Jr.
October 27, 2012
Jean Anderson

In this report I am going to talk about Southwest Airlines. I will discuss the culture of Southwest Airlines, and how it is displayed. I will talk about the traits and skills Gary Kelly possesses that make him an effective leader. I will also identify Southwest Airlines core competencies.

Southwest Airlines is well-known for its pared-down, unconventional model. It’s focus on on-time arrivals, departures, and friendly service has helped the airline thrive when so many others are failing due to the economy. They have pulled one billion in revenue due to the no bag fee motto. The Southwest approach may not be for everyone, but when you receive great value and dependability. Southwest is a perfect choice.

Southwest Airlines is known for their playful attitudes, from flight attendants, to silly in-flight announcements. Gary Kelly even has a sense of humor, just look at his past Halloween costumes they show the type of person he really is. Southwest is definitely dedicated to its employee’s happiness it shows in the lack of the turnover rate. Employees perform their jobs so much more efficiently and enthusiastically due to a much higher ratio of supervisors to employees, combined with a profit sharing program.

Gary Kelly is a genuine peoples person, he treats his customers like kings and queens, he does not nickel and dime them. He enjoys being a mentor he would rather be out in the field with employees or sitting down in a room thrashing out solutions than reading memos in his office. He is a great devil’s advocate, Kelly is known as a long-term strategist, and a bit of a wild cat.

Southwest Airlines only uses one model of airplane, the Boeing 737. This helps with cost on repairs, and also helps with mechanics they do not have to train them on twenty different models like some other airlines. They are also famous for its lack of assigned...
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