12. Herb Kelleher and the People of Southwest Airlines: Creative Thinking

  1. Al Gini1 and
  2. Ronald M. Green2

Published Online: 25 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118551653.ch12

10 Virtues of Outstanding Leaders: Leadership and Character

10 Virtues of Outstanding Leaders: Leadership and Character

How to Cite

Gini, A. and Green, R. M. (2013) Herb Kelleher and the People of Southwest Airlines: Creative Thinking, in 10 Virtues of Outstanding Leaders: Leadership and Character, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118551653.ch12

Author Information

  1. 1

    Loyola University Chicago, USA

  2. 2

    Dartmouth College, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 9 APR 2013

Book Series:

  1. Foundations of Business Ethics

Book Series Editors:

  1. W. Michael Hoffman and
  2. Robert E. Frederick

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470672303

Online ISBN: 9781118551653

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Keywords:

  • business;
  • creative thinking;
  • Herb Kelleher;
  • leadership;
  • moral excellence;
  • Southwest airline;
  • virtues

Summary

Great Southwest figures like Herb Kelleher, Colleen Barrett, and others exemplify many of the virtues that go into outstanding leadership. The chapter emphasizes the Southwest airline's constant creative thinking, and its people's ability to “think out of the box”, and develops new ways of approaching work. Southwest's creativity includes new procedures and new ways of doing business that have lowered the cost of flying and made air travel available to millions of new passengers. It has also introduced attitudes that challenge the “profit first” mentality of so much American business. By prioritizing employees and building relationships with internal and external customers on the basis of trust and mutual respect, Southwest has shown that moral excellence fosters long-term business success.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

business; creative thinking; leadership