Welcome to the November 2004 edition of “Leadership: It’s All About Trust.”
An on-line newsletter from Ellen Castro that addresses
leadership in today’s ever changing world.
Today’s leaders know …
· Actions, not intentions, count.
· One moment of connection is worth more than all the credentials.
· Loyalty is alive and well if they choose to behave in a way which inspires commitment and loyalty.
· They are ALWAYS communicating, there are NO neutral acts.
· Leadership is a lifestyle, not a commodity to be turned “on” and “off.”
I had the good fortune of seeing a 20th and 21st century leader in action. I was inspired and convinced that what I believe, model (hopefully) and facilitate WORKS. Herb Kelleher, the founder of Southwest Airlines, is that leader and this is what I observed …
· He had a smile and warm welcome for EACH and EVERY employee he greeted.
· Herb thanked one employee for “making me look good.”
· While he was ENGAGED speaking to a pilot, two ladies who worked the counter approached. He graciously turned and smiled. Something was said, then he excused himself from the pilot and had a photo op. A warm embrace, a friendly smile … click.
· Once in the air, the captain announced he was “DELIGHTED” that Herb was on the plane and asked that everyone please give him a warm welcome.
· Herb appeared from the cockpit and said “Thank you for flying Southwest Airlines.” He then walked down the aisle making eye contact with EACH customer saying words such as “Glad you are here with us today.” It took only seconds, but the impact was huge.
· The flight attendants were laughing and smiling, as he was. There was a sense of “luv” in the air.
Call it what you want, it was profound, infectious and inspiring. It is not difficult to understand why Southwest Airlines is doing well in an industry that is not.
The leader sets the mood in every single moment, in every single way.
Questions for Reflection
· Do you have a smile and warm welcome for EACH and EVERY employee?
· When was the last time you thanked someone for making you look good?
· Are you approachable? Would people use the word “delighted” to have you around?
· Have you looked your customers in the eyes and said “Thank you?”
· Has loyalty died within your organization? If so, what can you do to revive it?
The choice is ALWAYS yours.
Feel free to share this with a colleague or friend. Your comments and thoughts are always appreciated … I am always learning. Until next time, choose wisely.
Castro is a bestselling author. She holds an EdM from
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