Business Leadership Style: What Do People Do When They Are Leading Business Leadership Style Twenty-eight years before, Gary Kelly started as a controller in the Southwest Airlines, but gradually he started receiving promotions and moved from controller to Chief Financial Officer, then Vice President Finance, then Executive Vice President and occupied the seat of Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman in 2004 in the month of July. Finally in 2008, Kelly undertook the position of Chairman and President. However, before being a part of the Southwest, Kelly worked in Arthur Young & Company.
Not only assuming the seat of the president, Kelly actually worked hard to made Southwest Airlines, in terms of contriving domestic passenger carried, the country’s biggest airline. Thus, the hardships and unfailing dedication of Gary led him to be the recipient of the CEO of the year and that too, twice. Furthermore, Institutional Investor magazine entitled him as the America’s best CEO thrice and received many accolades from universities such as University of Texas and A&M University. Regarding his education, Kelly received a B. B. A.
in Accounting from the University of Texas and had been included in McCombs School Advisory Council, besides he is also a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lincoln National Corporation. The reason behind the success of the organization is not because of following the left trail of the preceding owners or carrying on with the overused leadership style such as autocratic, instead blend of the leadership techniques with more emphasize on the words ‘employee’, ‘customer’ and ‘people’ has lead the company to unparalleled height of victory.
Most of their focus depicted a basic democratic leadership style, which means constant involvement of the employee and prioritizing the needs and wants of the customer (Looper & McGee-Cooper et al. 2001). Kelly’s leadership style is a servent leadership, where their existence revolves around the customer to create high loyalty status and an energised environment with high powered employees. In relation to this statement, their quotation sists perfectly, which illustrates the message that the best leader is the best server, therefore they strive to carter the needs of each human, rather than selected individuals (Looper & McGee-Cooper et al.
2001). Kelly does not deny that in order to pursue the ‘employee’ oriented leadership they left out the main component of profitbility, but this is the exact point where Kelly differentiates his company from that of others by claiming and showing that his profitability is derived by pursuing loyal and efficient workers. Hence, the result of this trust by Kelly on his employees is return in form of commitment by the employees and their unrelenting hardwork to help secure organization its place and make it more customer friendly and understanding (Laszla et al.
1999). Apart from this servent leadership, Kelly also believes in leadership that is led by the language of the leaders. Here they take the potrait of a very complicate workplace and try to lead it in such a way that is required for a company to survive in the 21st century with throat cutting competition brimming in the market (Brown et al. 2007). Furthermore, this leadership depicts four objectives that can bedone through language and that is the construction and splintering of the commitment and understanding.
Hence, this helps the leader to indulge the heart and mind of their followers or in this case their employees by using commitment and understaning, respectively. Likewise, through employing language, Kelly strives to communicate with the employees, manage the organization and its behavior, comprehend the psychology of the employee and convey all these techniques to his people (Brown et al. 2007). Moving to the philosophy of Kelly, he believes in competitivestrategy to have a commpetitive edge over the competitors. This means that they try to make the trip for the customer as comfortable as possible, it alos portryas that they give this benefit not only to international travellers, but the domestic passenger too and they were successul in doing so, since they were in the possesion of having the awards of the best airlines in terms of domestic passenger carrier (Yukl et al.
2004). Moving towards the culture of the firm, Southwest Airlines has a very strong culture where innovation are appreciated, the firm is employee and cutomer oriented, meaning they are determined to make their employee as well as customer happy and give them an experience of delight.
The philosophy and the leadership style of Kelly in relation to the firm’s culture is strongly and positevly relate, since Kelly work and thinking are perfectly in sync with the culture (Bunz et al. 1998). kelly’s personal and organizational values were instilled in him by his family, which spoke of integrity and high morals that required for him to do his best or the people under him or his followers (Bunz et al.
1998). Similarly, he tries his best to manifest his values to the workers of the firm and also tries to be a role model for those who looked upto him. This attitude of his also helps to keep the environment of the fim to be homely, joyful and inventive as a result power distance is low and self assertiveness is high. After reading the above context it is not difficult to comprehend that the values or the pilosophy or the morals of the president of the Southwest Airlines are very high, apprecitable and applaudable, therefore, it is more easy to capture the ethical behavior it must and eill evoke within the organization and among the workers.
His trust in employee and looking after their needs is a message in itself that this attitude should not be run from upper level to the lowere level, but should be implemented on the horizontal level too, meaning among collegues. His attitude, which consist of caring for other, achieving whatever is pluasible and possible withouth hurting anyone else, honesty and a just percpective regarding everyone, especially the cutomer.
then again this attitude compells the employee to be fair and supporting to their cutomer, since their leaderis preaching the same policy within the organization. The three greatest strenghts that is possessed by Kelly is his integrity, which can be seen in his methods and techniques employed to give customer the highest benefits. His concern for everyone including the employee, the cutomer and the people, as these three words are capitalized and bold in the dictonary of kelly and humility for other, which is not very commonly seen especially in the corporate worls, where every unfair means is welcomed if its bringing higher profits to the company.
Since, Kelly, like all of us, falls in the category of humans and have few weaknesses too which consist of being caring to a default and being too democratic, because some times you ned the harshness to smoothen out the situations. By his own admittance, he is impatient and needs to learn to be patient soe time and lastly, he can be rough around the edges sometime, which may cost some very good decisions. According to my opinion the few things that led him to his success was his intelligence, which was kind of his hidden weapon, which he had hidden under his caring nature.
It was his intelligence that lead him to know that caring for customer and understanding his employees is the main rope that will ultimately lead him to success. Withouht his organization, its people and customer he would be nowhere. He knew that his greatest asset, which can act as pillar to his intelligence and ideas were his followers and customer.
So his intelligence made him a diamond of the forst water among his nemises. The company’s decision making process was highly influenced by the way Kelly communicated, collaborated, used power and politics. Politics at Southwest Airlines is not the resemblence of country’s political, instead it means the empowerment and low power distance, which is a major cause for the productivity and efficeincy of the worers. Furthermore, company’s mission and vission are throughly feeded to the organizations and are as scarce as the holy words, so that every induvidual who is working for the airlines, does know what they ought to do and of whom they are part of.
This in turn helps to create grougps that are ready and willing to work shoulder byshoulder in order to get the firm reach its zenith or in this case their targeted aims. Thus, Kelly personal goal in relation with the company’s one is to be employee ad customer oriented, since it is a mixture for a successful business. Bibliography Brown, H. H. (2007). The language of Leaders. Journal of Leadership Studies, 67-80. Bunz, U.
K. (1998). Learning excellence: Southwest airlines approach. Managing Service Quality, 163-169. Laszla, G. P. (1999). Southwest Airlines-living total quality in a service organization. Managing Service Quality, 90-95. Looper, A. McGee-Cooper. (2001). The essential of servant-leadership: Principles in Practice. Pegasus Communications. Yukl, G. (2004). Flexible Leadership. UK: Wiley & Sons.