Week Four Discussion: Leadership at Southwest/Southwest CEO, Gary Kelly

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Gary Kelly serves as the Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer at Southwest Airlines. A 23-year Southwest veteran who became CFO in 1989, Gary has worked closely with Southwest?s legendary Cofounder and Chairman Emeritus Herb Kelleher and President Emeritus Colleen Barrett to build the nation?s largest airline in terms of passengers?and the undisputed Low-Fare Leader.
Gary began his career at Southwest Airlines as Controller, moving up to Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Finance, then Executive Vice President and CFO, before being promoted to CEO and Vice Chairman in July 2004. Gary assumed the role of Chairman in May 2008 and President in July 2008. Prior to joining Southwest Airlines in 1986, Gary was a CPA for Arthur Young & Company in Dallas and Controller for Systems Center, Inc.
Southwest Airlines is celebrating 37 years of consecutive profitability and was named #1 in Customer Satisfaction by the Department of Transportation for the year 2009. For the 13th year in a row, Fortune magazine listed Southwest Airlines among the world?s most admired corporations. Gary has received awards and recognitions, including being named one of Business Travel News? 25 Most Influential Executives of 2004; named a finalist for Texan of the Year by the Dallas Morning News editors for the year 2005; honored with the 4th Annual Friends of Texas Public Schools Friend of the Year Award for 2008; named one of the best CEOs in America for 2008, 2009, and 2010 by Institutional Investor magazine; and most recently voted Dallas CEO of the Year by both the Dallas Morning News? ?Top 100 Places to Work? and CEO magazine.
Gary received a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the Texas Society of CPAs; chairs the McCombs School Advisory Council at the University of Texas at Austin; and was most recently named to the Lincoln National Corporation?s Board of Directors.Kelly outlines Southwest?s recipe for success below:
Hire great people, treat ?em like family.
Care for our Customers warmly and personally, like they’re guests in our home.
Keep fares and operating costs lower than anybody else by being safe, efficient, and operationally excellent.
Stay prepared for bad times with a strong balance sheet, lots of cash, and a stout fuel hedge.
?Throughout our history, we?ve faced enormous challenges ranging from brutal competition to recessions to terrorism to hurricanes to soaring energy costs. We?ve been able to overcome those challenges and still maintain our core values regarding People; Customers; operations; financial health; and performance?for 37 years. That speaks volumes to discipline and consistency,? he said.
It?s clear for Southwest that success equals working hard, having fun, and treating Customers like family. With those principles as a foundation, Southwest?s success will continue for the next 37 years!
Complete your assigned reading and then watch the videos below corresponding with this week’s discussion. Next, respond to the Discussion questions below. Your first post should answer those questions and should be made by Thursday midnight. You should make two additional posts (three total) on separate days before the end of the week (Sunday midnight). Good luck.
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User: nutsaboutsouthwest – Added: 12/9/09

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User: nutsaboutsouthwest – Added: 4/1/09
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Discussion assignments will be graded as follows:
Thoroughly answered all of the questions: 40
Quality of responses to two classmates: 20
References to text and/or other sources: 10
Spelling/Grammar at college level: 10
Posted on 3 separate days: 20
TOTAL: 100 points
A simplified rubric will be posted in Comments associated with your weekly grade.

Discussion Posts (APA guidelines)

Be sure to use APA format when citing your sources (including the text) when making your Discussion posts. This applies to both short quotations and paraphrasing.CLICK HERE FOR MORE APA GUIDELINES

YOU MUST POST ON AT LEAST THREE SEPARATE DAYS.

WEEK 4 Discussion
1. How would you describe Gary Kelly’s leadership style?

2. Would you say that he’s a charismatic leader? Why?

3. What sources of power does he have?

4. How does he motivate his followers?

To post to the discussion, click on Week 4 Discussion Forum above, then Create Thread.
RESPONSES TO PEERS
Julie Lowe
Week Four Discussion
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Total views: 1 (Your views: 1)
I believe Gary Kelly?s leadership style would fall under transformational leadership. He lets people know how important their jobs are to Southwest and how important it is that they perform them to the best of their ability. In the video, he even states that he loves the company and wants to see it successful. One could consider Gary Kelly a charismatic leader also because his visions do entail improvements in the organizational performance with a goal of gaining competitive advantage. Because Gary Kelly is the CEO of Southwest, he is at the top of the organization?s hierarchy. This means he should ultimately possess legitimate, reward, coercive, expert and referent power. Gary Kelly motivates others by setting a great example for the employees of Southwest; he worked his way up. Also, maintaining the organizational culture that Southwest has is also another way Kelly motivates others. The employees do good work and are rewarded for it and it shows through their customer service.
Word Count: 161
Reference: G. R. Jones, J. M. George. Contemporary Management (9th edition). (2016). New York, NY: McGraw Hil

Connie Johnson
Week 4 discussion
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Total views: 13 (Your views: 1)
1. Gary Kelly’s leadership style
I would describe Gary Kelly’s leadership style as servant because he has maintained the Southwest culture of serving for the benefit of others. His goal is to please and achieve with high spirits at a low cost. He strives to ensure that the individual’s needs are met and that their well being is enhanced. More attention is focused on those who are least well off in a society. He takes a more individualistic and humanistic approach by being more people oriented.
2. Is Gary Kelly a charismatic leader? and why.
Gary Kelly is a charismatic leader because he is enthusiastic about creating a vision and being motivated for the purpose of achieving goals by showing recognition and appreciation for employees and customers and showing concern and consideration for what is important to them. His vision entails dramatic improvements in performance. He
appears quiet and earnest, however, the essence of his charisma is having a vision and enthusiastically communicating it to his employees at Southwest, prompting them to support his vision.
3. What sources of power does Gary Kelly have?
Legitimate power to hire, assign projects, monitor and appraise.
Reward power to to distribute raises, bonuses, and prize giveaways to enhance motivation.
Coercive power that can range from verbal reprimands, reductions in pay and work hours, to dismissal. Excessive use seldom produces high performance and is questioned ethically.
Expert power derived from technical expertise, background knowledge and skills, including being good decision makers, planners, and strategists. Open for additional training or education needed to guide and coach, and encourages input from others.
Referent power comes from subordinates’ and co workers’ respect, admiration and loyalty. This power is the function of the personal characteristics of the leader.
4. How does Gary Kelly motivate his followers?
Kelly uses transformational leadership to influence his followers by being charismatic, intellectually stimulating subordinates to take personal responsibility to help solve problems, and engaging in developmental consideration that encourages them to enhance skills and capabilities to grow and excel on the job.

Reference: Gareth, J. R. & George, J. M. (2016). Contemporary Management (9th. ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education. (357)