Southwest Airlines Leadership

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Marcio Cesar dos Santos
Southwest Airlines
1) CQ: What are the key motivational strategies used by Southwest? Investing in People: As argued by Ann Rodes, Southwest’s competitive advantage come from people, so they has invested time and money to build a cohesively team work, developing in each one a strong sense of esteem and self-actualization. “Recognizing that our people are the competitive advantage, we deliver the resources and services to prepare our people to be winners, to support the growth and profitability of the company, while preserving the values and special culture of Southwest”.

Values and organizational culture: A Southwest’s managers mission were to teach, keep and reinforce the company culture and values. They‘ve believed that the organizational culture and values, that had had built and introduced by Mr. Herb was the backbone of the competitiveness through people. “Compassion and common sense…break the rule if they need to”. Shared Leadership: Mr. Herb Kelleher was a positive example of leadership; being simple, equal and astute. He has introduced in his company a shared leadership, spreading into the whole organization a strong feeling of ownership in each member. All of them have felt important and empowered, consequently they have prepared to deal with the company challenges.

Balanced policy of rewards: Contracts paid on the basis of seniority (exhibit 06), showing a progressive salary improvement has been working as a long term incentive, keep people focused in the future return, as consequence, initial salary for times were below market, force most people take a salary cut to join Southwest. In another hand, pilots and flight attendants have being paid by trip, resulting in a good incentive for production. Executive compensation was modest and had no relevant fringe benefits, whereas profit sharing covered all employees, bringing a fairness feeling for the whole company. Recruiting and training process: Roughly 3% of the...
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