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How Are Leaders Leading in the 21st Century

The Background of Southwest Airlines, CEO

Southwest Airlines, CEO is an airline company. It was founded more than 38 years ago by two charismatic leaders Herb Kelleher and Rollin King. It is necessary to mention that this airline company does not lose its popularity event at the present time. Their aim was to start an absolutely new kind of airline that would satisfy customers’ interests and demands. The mission of this company is to get passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible, as cheaply as possible and having a good time.

Commitment to the highest quality of services proves that Southwest Airlines has a good reputation. A good company spirit, individual pride, friendliness and a sense of warmth are the main driving forces of their reputation. Successful leadership of Southwest Airlines provides equal opportunities for a stable work environment, personal growth, and learning. Southwest Airlines encourages the improvement of effectiveness, innovation, and creativity. A good Human Resource policy is aimed at providing a caring attitude and respect within the organization.

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Southwest Airlines, CEO’s Leadership Style and Philosophy

Speaking about Southwest Airlines, CEO’s leadership style, and philosophy, it is necessary to say that leadership style is ethical. The company takes care not only about their profits but also customers’ interests and comfort. The first leaders of the company Herb Kelleher and Rollin King adopted exemplary leadership to Southwest Airlines, CEO. Positive actions of a leader, creativity, team spirit, collaboration, and cooperation are the main aspects of leadership of Southwest Airlines, CEO.

The leadership philosophy of this company is built in such a way as to care for people, and such a policy was offered by Kelly, who was the follower of founder Herb Kelleher. The leadership philosophy of Southwest Airlines, the CEO creates a family-like surrounding that implies love and care. It is evident that such an approach to leadership develops a warm corporate and organizational culture. According to the management theory of leadership, one can characterize Kelly as a good leader. His management activity proves his quick performance of planned goals and talent in managing. Kelly runs the processes and activities, solves problems, and makes decisions. As a leader in the role of a manager, Kelly is active, enthusiastic, and energetic.

It is evident that there is a direct relationship between the leadership style of Southwest Airlines, CEO and organizational culture. Kelly balances three important aspects: focus on people, customer service and low cost and these aspects are the basement for his democratic leadership and ethical basis of the company. Strong customer service culture is a visit card of not only the company’s name but their leaders as well. “All good stories about Southwest Airlines are because of an interaction someone had with one of our people. We share stories [about customer service triumphs] and celebrate those events,” states Kelly. It means that Southwest Airlines, CEO has a good reputation due to its ethical, exemplary and democratic leadership.

Kelly has such leadership skills as struggling with obstacles and difficulties, motivating (stimulating, encouraging, and inspiring), and showing a constant desire for learning and developing. His main principles are fairness and equality in relation to every customer and employee. Southwest Airlines, CEO demonstrates the situation when a leader chooses the role of a visionary; he/she builds the organization’s plans for the future. He/she is taking care of everything that might be crucial to future success. A leader tries to predict the perspectives of the organization’s development. A leader creates a vision for the future of the business, and this is a mental picture in his/her head.

The Southwest Airlines, CEO leadership style aligns with the culture as Kelly is a kind of leader who listens and responds that is why employees of the company are not discriminated against and have a right to be involved in the process of struggling for success. Southwest Airlines experienced the global economic downturn, but their aim was not only focusing on great profits and that is why their success and profits are stable and enduring.

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Personal and Organizational Values of Southwest Airlines, CEO

Every company has its personal and organizational values that are formed under the influence of a leader of the company, its clients and employees. This is Gary Kelly whose personal values created a good old-fashioned brand of Southwest Airlines. Gary Kelly has a good education and good morals that were developed owing to his father. These qualities helped him to make Southwest Airlines a company with a good reputation, ethical decisions, organizational culture, and friendly encouraging atmosphere.

“The work values of Southwest Airlines are reinforced by Kelly’s values. These are fairness, honesty, the concern of others and achievement that create positive organizational culture.” The Southwest Airlines Company is characterized by honesty and concern of others. All employees are treated with compassion and respect that is why they treat their clients in the same way. The mission of this company reveals its personal and organizational values as this company is dedicated to company spirit, individual pride, friendliness, sense of warmth and the highest quality.

Gary Kelly created an efficient environment and laid back the main aspects of the organizational culture of the company. Southwest Airlines’ culture brings a sense of humor to work, develops personality and communicates with customers. Kelly’s instrumental values of imagination, cheerfulness, open-mindedness, independence, and honesty shaped the organizational behaviors for meeting objectives and achieving goals. It is the charismatic leadership of Gary Kelly that shaped the personal and organizational values of Southwest Airlines, CEO.

Without any doubt, one can not say that personal and organizational values are only positive in Southwest Airlines, CEO. There are weaknesses concerning organizational conflicts, but with the help of his intelligence, Gary Kelly knows how to hide them and show their strong sides. Concluding, it is necessary to say that Southwest Airlines, CEO is the unity of the charismatic leadership, positive attitudes, personal and organizational values of employees. The company collaborates and communicates with its customers making them equal partners.

The Influence of the Values of Southwest Airlines, CEO on Ethical Behavior

Company spirit, individual pride, friendliness, sense of warmth and the highest quality are the main values of Southwest Airlines, CEO. It is evident that these values benefit ethical behavior within the organization. Company spirit unites employees, makes them more dedicated to their work and forms their ethical behavior that is accompanied by collaboration, mutual understanding, trust, and respect. Individual pride creates the right expectations, evokes to act ethically and sets the right example. Friendliness is a must for providing an ethical behavior as it creates the right atmosphere within the organization and while working with customers.

A sense of warmth also benefits ethical behavior because this value is both personal and organizational. However, the main value of Southwest Airlines, CEO that proves their ethical behavior is the highest quality that attracts new customers and encourages trust and respect towards the company and its employees.

Many organizations around the world have made headlines in a bad way. This commonly occurs because of organizational misconduct by either the organization itself or the management. This problem is associated with poor ethical decision making. In order to achieve proper ethical decision making at all levels of Southwest Airlines, CEO, it is critical for a company to adopt appropriate strategies. One of these strategies is promoting ethical leadership and it is characteristic for Southwest Airlines, CEO. Ethical leaders promote ethical considerations in their company’s decisions. Ethical leadership that is typical for Gary Kelly fosters positive relationships between all stakeholders of the organization thus providing a wide range of benefits at all levels of the organization. Poor relationships often have a far-reaching negative effect on the decision-making process in an organization. It adversely affects the attitude of the stakeholders; hence, they cannot engage in their duties and responsibilities effectively. Ethical leadership creates a bonding agent that makes all stakeholders feel they are making fruitful and valuable contributions to Southwest Airlines, CEO.

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Southwest Airlines, CEO’s Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses

Without any doubt, Southwest Airlines, the CEO has its strengths and weaknesses. The strengths of Southwest Airlines, CEO are friendly encouraging atmosphere, a good reputation and ethical decisions concerning customers. Friendly encouraging atmosphere helps to achieve respect in the workplace, develop HRM, and create cooperation, mutual help and support. A good reputation proves ethical and exemplary leadership of the Southwest Airlines, CEO that is the key to its success and profits. Ethical decisions concerning customers are evident in positive attitudes, ethical behavior, and organizational culture. Weaknesses of Southwest Airlines, CEO are connected with very high energy prices that do not allow making reductions even for the constant customers. Another weakness is the lack of competent and ambitious employees. The Southwest Airlines, CEO works for the sake of their customers and that is why they need human resources that will make only ethical decisions. Southwest Airlines, CEO is a low cost producing company; it is their weakness when it comes to profits, but it can be their strength when it comes to their reputation.

Ethical Decisions as the Main Contributors to Leader’s Success

Ethical decisions of the Southwest Airlines, CEOs are the main contributors to a leader’s success. Ethical decisions are made on the basis of moral rules, criticizing deception, lying, information suppression, violation of rules, and abuse of power. Ethical decisions require the right decisions from employees. Ethics and professional behavior are the bases of the workplace. A feeling of respect between an employer and employees can be seen in caring about employees, paying a good salary, promotions, and appraisals. A feeling of respect between employees can be seen in their cooperation, mutual help and support. It is a rare case when the company such as Southwest Airlines, CEO makes ethical decisions. Employment relations at Southwest Airlines, CEOs are positive and friendly. There is no discrimination and inequality between an employer and employees. An employer distinguishes employment rights according to the law.

Influence of Communication, Collaboration, and Power on the Organization’s Dynamics

Communication, collaboration, and power benefit Southwest Airlines, CEO’s dynamics, and its decision-making process. Without a doubt, it is difficult to organize and control more than 40,000 employees. However, evaluating the company’s success, one can say that an exemplary and ethical leadership managed to do this making power, collaboration and communication driving forces of Southwest Airlines, CEO dynamics. To please their passengers the Southwest Airlines empowers each other to make on-the-spot decisions. This brings about personal development and growth and employees.

Communication benefits the organization’s dynamics as it is the key to attracting new customers and collaboration with other airline companies. Collaboration develops positive relationships between employees and passengers. The power of leadership is a coordinator of efficiency, development, and growth.


In conclusion, it is necessary to say that Southwest Airlines, CEO is an example of good democratic and ethical leadership. The company takes care of not only their profits but also customers’ interests and comfort. Development of positive values, organizational culture, making ethical decisions, reinforcing strengths and overcoming obstacles are the ways of creating a profitable and reputable airline company such as Southwest Airlines, CEO.