At the World Business Forum we ran into Herb Kelleher, our 1999 Chief Executive of the Year. Alone among the luminous speakers lined up for that spectacle, Herb gave the most compelling presentation. No charts, no data, no big speeches nor animated effects and
It also stands apart as the only profitable airline. Kelleher related that he received a phone call from an industry representative asking him to fly to
Today, people accept Southwest’s success as foreordained. It very nearly was strangled at birth. In 1966, Rollin King, a
Catching up with Kelleher reminds me of something he once said. Business looks for techniques that are simple and fast. The tragedy of our times is that we have got it backwards: We have fallen in love with techniques and use people. Imagine thinking that people should come first.