Leadership Style: What Do People Do When They Are Leading?
Dr. Christopher Leigh
BUS 520 Leadership and Organizational Behavior
September 3, 2014
Leadership is described as a method for social control that sees an individual getting the help and support of others on finishing a particular assignment (Adair, 2005). Thus, leadership is the ability to successfully exploit and incorporate the existing resources in an organization for the achievement of the objectives and targets of such organization (Northouse, 2004). Gary Kelly is the CEO of Southwest Airlines. He has a leadership style and a set of values that has helped Southwest Airlines emerge amongst all the ...view middle of the document...
Gary Kelly received a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and serves on the University of Texas at Austin Business School Dean's Advisory Council and Accounting Department Advisory Council. Institutional Investor Magazine has honored him as one of the Best CEO in America and he also received the 2013 Father of the Year Award. Gary was the recipient of the 2013 McLane Leadership in Business Award at University of Texas (Southwest, 2014).
CEO’s Leadership Style and Philosophy
The leadership style Gary Kelly follows is transformational. Transformational leadership is the style of leadership where the leaders elevate and broaden followers’ interests and motivates them to look beyond their own interests and work for the benefit of others (Bass, 1985). Gary Kelly states that the culture of Southwest Airlines is not an initiative or a program; rather it is the sum of love people has in their hearts for the company (Spirit Magazine, 2014). Southwest Airlines always empowers and encourages their employees to go above and beyond to help others, and that is an immediate reflection upon their leader. Kelly believes that a good leader must fit with the team and the company’s culture. However, being true to oneself is equally important. He also stands firm on the thought that a good leader takes care of his/her employees first. As far as communication is concerned, Kelly believes that a leader needs to know when to listen and when to react.
Unlike most CEOs, Gary Kelly follows a more laid back style of leadership. The employees of Southwest Airlines have a bit more freedom than most companies. His leadership style fits well with the culture of the organization. Southwest Airlines defines culture as the refinement, improvement and development of the identity, originality, personality and individuality of a given people (Southwest Airlines, 2014). Southwest Airlines offers more than just flights. They encourage their employees to become a better individual and give back to the community through volunteer services. Their culture includes having fun events like spirit, deck and Halloween parties. Over the course of his 28 years with the airline, Gary Kelly has been everything from Edna Turnblad, the mother in Hairspray to Count Dracula (Hall, 2010). Gary Kelly and Southwest Airlines want to keep their employees inspired and motivated and make it worthwhile to work hard for the company they cherish.
CEO’s Personal and Organizational Values
Gary Kelly’s personal values were formed by the old-fashioned Southwestern brand of ethics and integrity imparted in him by his father (Miranda, 2013). According to Miranda (2013), Kelly’s values are focused on encouraging a work environment where employees are having lots of fun and enjoyment, yet doing their jobs well. Southwest Airlines’ first and foremost priority is to ensure the personal safety of each and every employee and customer. Southwest believes in respecting and treating people in the way...