Herb Kelleher, Co-Founder of Southwest Airlines, passed away on January 3, 2019. He was considered a pioneer in the aviation industry and one of the most transformative business leaders of all time. The tributes have poured out from employees, friends and other business leaders over the past month. The NextLevel Team “luvs” everything Kelleher stood for and is paying tribute to the great leader this month.
While there are several Herb Kelleher quotes that motivate and inspire us, we chose to feature the following as this month’s Thoughts the Count.
“It is my practice to try to understand how valuable something is by trying to imagine myself without it.” -Herb Kelleher
Forbes shared a list of “20 Reasons Why Herb Kelleher Was One Of The Most Beloved Leaders Of Our Time” last month and #13 touched on what Herb valued most as a business leader: his employees.
“Thousands of requests for speaking engagements, presidential commissions, legislative issues, and business meetings related to the airline industry all vied for Herb Kelleher’s time. But Herb’s priorities were always the people of Southwest Airlines. Ask Vickie Shuler, Herb’s executive assistant of 30 years, and she will tell you that Herb would not change his schedule if a business meeting came up that interfered with an employee event he promised to attend.”
“If you want to know what someone truly values watch the way they spend their money and their time. It’s easy for executives to say ‘people are our most important asset,’ but reallocating their time to support that statement is yet another story. During the filming of a customer service video, Tom Peters asked Herb what advice he would give other executives. Herb said, ‘Stop spending so much time with other CEOs, spend more time with your people.'”
This month we challenge you to consider where you place value and “luv” in your life. Consider both your personal and business relationships and take a moment to reflect on the legacy of Herb Kelleher.