After graduating from high school, he went to college and played football; after a losing season, he decided to study to be an accountant like his father. After graduating from college, he was working at Arthur Young & Co. At the Dallas office. One of the office’s top clients was Southwest Airline. In 1986, Gary started working at Southwest Airline as a controller. From 1989-2001 he was promoted to Chief Financial Officer; 2001-2004 he was Executive Vice president, co; 2004-2008 Chief Executive Officer and in 2008 after the retirement of the co-founder Keller, Gary became the President and Chairman of the board.
Gary has had many accomplishments during his carrier with Southwest. He has been named the CEO of the Year by D CEO Magazine, by Institutional Investor Magazine three times, and also by the Dallas Business Journal. Garry Dervish Style Gary leadership style is unique. His qualities are humbleness to the dependency of those around him, persistence, hard work, passion and caring for his family (Hill). How did he accomplish these qualities? He understood that he cannot do the job by himself, and that he needed to depend on people to help him. He understood that he was not alone.
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Always getting another executive’s inputs during decision making processes was also a key. Gary never gave up; working hard and is passionate about what he does. He is very passionate about his employees. Employees are like family. Another key of his success is that he doesn’t concentrate on the money. He concentrates on serving his customer, and because he is so passionate about customer service, the company has been successful even during tough times. Gary also has a genuine care for people, and believes communication is the key of being a leader.
Gary stated; “Communication is largely about listening, leaders need to know when to listen and respond”. He is characterized for being himself, and his emphasis is the that importance of being you within he culture. Another trait from Gary is that everyone has a voice; it doesn’t matter what is your position, and that everyone has the right to express themselves in a respectful way. Employees are his priority, and that is why Southwest employees are the highest paid in the industry. He is admired for his sense of humor. He has created traditions and rituals throughout the company.
One of the biggest rituals is during Halloween. Everybody in the company decorates their areas and wears a costume. Gary also celebrates Halloween. Every year he dresses up for the occasion. Everyone is always looking award to see what costume he is going to wear. Agar’s Personal and Organizational Values Agar’s personal values are family oriented. He believes that family is the most important thing in his life. He married his high school sweetheart, and they have two daughters. He actually considers all 40,000 Southwest Airline employees his family.
That is why that as soon his grandson was born, he made the announcement throughout the company. He feels a connection with his employees, and that is why he is successful. He prefers to spend his time with the employees than in his corporate office. I guess he likes to travel lot. A leader that is seen out and about with his employees gives those same employees a sense of pride, and that they make a difference for the company. His organizational values are as strong as his personal values. Every executive has a voice; it doesn’t matter how big or small the idea could be that creates innovation.
As part of his organizational culture, he utilizes internal integration, and deals with the creation of collective identity and with ways of working and living together (Shoehorning 2012). Also the organization embraces and values cultural diversity. Working for a company hat offers domestic flights including Puerco Rich, cultural diversity is necessary. Symbols are other part of his culture. LUVS is the word used to identify the company’s trade. Also when you see the social media advertisements, they use a heart with the airplane. The company embraces changes very well.
That is a reflection of the culture. For example, Southwest has just merged with Air Tara, and to welcome their new family, they had a company-wide barbeques. Agar’s first concern is the employees, and this is reflected in every day to day action. Strengths and Weaknesses Garry personal values and morals were instilled by his father. Garbs greatest strengths are his integrity and his fairness. Every day he displays high ethical behaviors. As an employee, you need to believe that the company you work for has your best interest at heart.
In other words, you don’t say something and do something else. Transparency is necessary to create a good culture. Also communication is very important. He is an effective and great communicator. Communication is the base of a company that strives to be the best. As it was mentioned before, that having a sense of humor sometimes goes a long way. We never know what type of problems employees could be having at home. Having kind words and jokes from time to time, can help people forget about their own problems while they are at work.
During this research, I could find plenty of good attributes about Gary Kelly, but I was not successful in finding too many weaknesses. The only weakness was mentioned on a website called Trading Secrets. In this review, they talked about that he is too nice, possibly to a fault. The comment was made “nice guys don’t win ball games”. The weakness is the way he cares for his employees, and being the nice guy. As I keep reading about his accomplishments, being nice has given him a Success in his career ND in his personal life.
Southwest is still one of the few companies that since the beginning, that has not cut salaries nor has given lay-offs during hardships in the economy. Also, during difficult times, the company has managed to have a profit. If being nice is a weakness, I guess consider this as being a good thing. Without entering too much about religion, but like they say, good things happen to good people. Garry Success The quality that contributes the most to his success is passion. He has passion for what he does, and it is reflected in his day to day operation.
He TTS passion on customer service, and the company values his passion and follows his vision. Also he has a passion for his employees; it is reflected in the customer service that is received. When you are a customer, you see the passion of the company, and the vision and mission of the company. He is very consistent with his work ethic, and his core value is all about his passion. Group Dynamics Communication, collaboration, politics and power can influence the group dynamics in an organization, especially during the decision making process (Trading Secrets 2013). Power has been used in the company to empower employees.
Every single employee, from line staff to executive staff, has a goal. That goal is to live the company’s mission and vision. The number one priority is the customer, and whatever it takes to make them happy. Happy customers make happy employees. Southwest Airlines has strong leadership. The passion of the leaders has filtered to all the employees. With an excellence in communication, the company has managed to get collaborations from all levels. That is why the group dynamic it is strong; one voice and one mission. Southwest Airlines is definitely an organization to work for.