Herb Kelleher is a CEO and president of a very successful airline called Southwest Airlines. I will be looking into how Herb Kelleher made his company successful and looking at the different managerial and leadership styles he used compared to some other styles that have been used by other top line managers. I will also look into the negative impact of poor management that affected Continental airlines, and finally comparing the difference in managers and leaders.
Herb Kelleher is a co-founder of Southwest airlines which made its maiden voyage in 1971, but it wasn't until 1978 that he was the acting President, CEO and the Chairman of the Board but did not hold these positions for long. A guy by the name of Howard Putnam was elected President and CEO but Herb Kelleher remained as the permanent Chairman of the Board. Four years later though Herb Kelleher was brought completely into power as the new President, CEO and also holding down his original position of Chairman of the Board. .
Herb Kelleher believes "Southwest Airlines has a reputation as the wild and crazy guy of commercial aviation." (Kelleher, 1997). He believes business should not just be business, he believes it also should be fun. Herb Kelleher wants his employees to be themselves and not some boring usual business person who looks like they have no sense of humour (Kelleher, 1997). .
Southwest airlines have a different planning strategy to the usual methods discussed by people who study planning and strategies. (Kelleher, 1997) sais "Rather than trying to predict what we'll do, we try to define who we are and what we want, in terms of market niche, operational strategy, and financial health. We reflect, observe, debate and we don't use our calculators." The Southwest airlines marketing group went out to see what the next decade was going to be like in the United States. They concluded that people would be more value conscious so Herb Kelleher and his team thought of a strategy that would help the customers and Southwest airlines.