Rollin Kig and Herb Kelleher started the company with a simple notion: “If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly your airline” (We Weren’t Just Airborne Yesterday, 2010). As stated in the interview with CEO Garry Kelly, Southwest follows four basic rules: keep cost down, fly all the same planes so parts and maintenance is fairly simple and cheap, treat their customers like kings and queens, and treat their employees even better
Also, when employees are happy with the company, a lot will be willing for the company because how they are treated and not because how much they are paid. Diana Delgado from Chicago is a perfect example of this as she took a pay cut to work for Southwest because she did not want to work for any other airlines as most of them were making employees work double flight on the same shift to cut cost. Having older and experienced employees who do not want leave saves the company money since that company does not have to spend time and money training new people.
Plus, flying only one model of planes is a very efficient method of keeping cost down as all the maintenance work and parts needed for the planes are the same so extra cost is not needed to hire different technicians or search around for parts. To add on to the contributors of their success, Southwest Airlines has a very unique and effective CEO Gary Kelly. As demonstrated in the Destination CEO video, he is a very casual and socially active person who is very kind and shows respect to all his employees. It would be hard for anyone to know all of the 32,000 employees of Southwest, yet Mr.
Kelly greeted everyone he ran across and complimented them on their great work and efforts. He exemplifies the qualities of a great leader and he is able to work with fuel companies and provide gas prices lower and most other airline companies. He does not treat his employees like his subordinates nor does he act like he is better than them. To him no special treatment is expected and in fact, when he flies he sits in the back row where it is the nosiest and most crowded so the paying customers can have the good seats.
When asked his employees, they had total faith and trust in Gary Kelly to run the company. His “everyman” personality is what makes him stand out from other CEOs and he has the characteristics of an exceptional leader. With such great management, loyal customers and employees, and impressive leader, it is no surprise the Southwest Airlines is doing as good as it is. Treating the employee and customers like loyalty and having Gary Kerry as their CEO has done wonders for the company. Reference Destination CEO Video. (2010). BusinessWeek.