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What Makes Great Leaders Great by Frank Arnold

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CHAPTER 33

Create a Culture of Effectiveness

LEARNING FROM

Herb Kelleher

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A great deal is said about the relaxed, entertaining, laid-back style of the corporate culture of Southwest Airlines, but these comments overlook the key point. For underlying that apparently effortless approach is an unrivaled culture of professionalism and effectiveness. The airline’s former CEO Herb Kelleher (born in 1931) created a corporate culture in which customer value, performance, and responsibility are top priorities. This is the company’s real “secret.”

Many reports about the company and its eccentric CEO focus on Southwest’s unconventional corporate culture. ...

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