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“You've basically revolutionized the way we are doing business. . . Your teaching style is very, very effective.”

~ Thomas J. Bartosic, SVP, Career Sales, G.E. Financial Assurance

Posts Tagged ‘Southwest Airlines’

Be The Best At What Matters Most – A Chat With Joe Calloway

Friday, May 31st, 2013

What really are the elements that lead toward and result in huge business success?

Is it mainly – as we’re often told – about being different? Is it really the “WOW Factor” we hear so much about? Or, could it be that the winners constantly think “outside the box”? In a recent post with noted performance expert, Joe Calloway, we saw that, actually the game is either lost or won inside the box and by focusing on – and mastering – the truly important things.

Joe CallowayIn this exciting chat with Joe (you’ll see that – nice as he is – he holds not an opinion back) 🙂 we’ll look much deeper into why this is true and what it takes to make it happen.

From Marty Grunder, who began his landscaping business at 13 (and grossed $400,000 annually while still in college) and is now an icon in the field, to the venerable Southwest Airlines, which profits every year despite being in an industry known for losing money, we’ll see that focusing on what matters most – and being the best at it, simply works.

Joe CallowayBut, how exactly do you know what does matter most? We’ll explore that, as well.

We’ll see why and how the Internet is killing hype, and why that’s a good thing!

And, we’ll be surprised by perhaps the most counter-intuitive but powerful advice of all from Joe: to avoid…the trap. This one will cause a double-take next time you see it in action!

Listen in on our conversation, and find out how you can “Be The Best At What Matters Most.”


Wasn’t that inspiring? Plenty of great takeaways. What in particular did you learn from Joe that you can begin to apply to your business right now? Please share your thoughts with us.

TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here to download and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

A Legendary Character…Of Very High Character

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Last post we looked at just one example of how Southwest Airlines has created a benevolent environment where team members embrace their responsibility to act in the best interests of the company itself. The result: profits year after year since forming over 40 years ago; this in an industry notorious for losing money.

Another of the Southwest stories I love — also from the book, Nuts!: Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success, by Kevin & Jackie Freiberg (1996) — highlights how high character and integrity also brings with it a huge economic value.

Battles between airlines and their unions are commonplace, and the lack of trust between them has become almost proverbial. Yet, Southwest Airlines has historically had an excellent relationship with their union employees. How could that be?

Herb Kelleher and Bob BurgAs the Freiberg’s pointed out, it really came down to trust in their leadership. In this, case Southwest’s Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, then CEO, Herb Kelleher.

To paraphrase the account in the book, former union representative, Rod Jones remembers arriving at Southwest just as the union was in the final phase of establishing a new contract with the company. There was one item the union wanted resolved before they would recommend the contract to those they represented. During an informal one-on-one conversation with the union president, John Schnobrich, Mr. Kelleher agreed and assured him it would be taken care of.

Mr. Jones recalls pressing Mr. Schnobrich for details as to exactly how it would be taken care of; did he have it in writing? When Schnobrich simply replied that “Herb told me it would be taken care of” Jones pressed harder. Schnobrich irritably countered, “You don’t need it in writing. When Herb Kelleher tells you something is going to be taken care of, it’s taken care of…Herb gave me his word on it, and that’s better than any piece of paper.”

And, according to Jones, “The issue was taken care of, exactly as Herb said it would be.”

Can you imagine that? Well, actually, those who know Herb Kelleher can absolutely imagine it.

There’s even more to this story, space not permitting. However, from the many similar stories in this book, other books and articles where Southwest is discussed as the standard for companies setting the right example, as well as the many Southwest employees and passengers I’ve spoken to, it can be reasonably said that the character of this company is a reflection of the character of the leadership.

Indeed, the brilliant and passionate Herb Kelleher is a free-spirited, on-the edge human being.

One could even call him a character. A legendary character

But he is, without question, a legendary character of very, very high character.