Case Study on Southwest Airlines

1272 Words Jul 28th, 2012 6 Pages
1. What role has leadership played in the success of Southwest Airlines?

In an era where all the major players in the U.S. airline industry experienced problems, only Southwest Airlines remained profitable throughout that period. This amazing and continued success is attributed to its great leader Herb Kelleher. He has been a very successful leader who knows the employees and marketplace well and can effectively take action for the success of the organization. He applies flexibly to the growth and innovation arena, which has given him, guaranteed success.

Best CEO - Herbert Kelleher is called as one of the best CEOs by Fortune magazine in USA. Under his leadership, South West Airlines became the most consistently profitable,
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No one takes the job of another person for granted. No one department is any more important than another. Respect is a big part in the happiness of employees. When employees feel respected they take ownership at work.
Thus Southwest employees are not only trained to do their specific jobs, but they are motivated in the engagement of the overall mission of the company.

3. Describe Kelleher’s leadership style.
Leadership is about leading, inspiring, motivating people to pursue organizational goals and achieve excellence for them as well as for the business process.

Herb’s leadership style is Employee oriented Democratic style. * He is someone who is perceived to use influence successfully. * He develops a vision for the organization future. * He communicates the direction that people and organizations should take. * He energizes people to overcome psychological and social barriers at work place. He motivates people to stay committed to achieve greater goals for the organization. * He brings in new methods and practices to motivate people.

Southwest Airlines is an excellent example of an open style of leadership, where more group members down the ladder are encouraged to take up responsibilities. This helped the group members to make decisions along with the top management about how to do their jobs. This helps the company to perform

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