Herb Kelleher, the CEO of Southwest Airlines since 1982, has been the backbone of Southwest. He believes that his good spirited personality is the most powerful thing to help the company. Kelleher said in an interview, "Spirit comes from the heart and not the head."
Kelleher was also the co-founder of Southwest Airlines with Rollin King in Texas. Ever since he co-founded Southwest he had the idea to be different. Back when Southwest was created, other competitive airlines were all they same, which is why Kelleher and Rollin drew up an idea on a napkin in hopes to create a more "fun" airline. The two originally created the service to operate between Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, but little did they know, the airline was going to skyrocket. Today Southwest operates between 62 cities, serving a whooping 80 million passengers yearly!
Would you like to know more about the leadership of Herb Kelleher? I found an interesting website called Leader to Leader Institute, the site includes an article written by the only and only, Herb Kelleher himself, titled, "A Culture of Commitment." In this article he spills his secrets of what it takes to build an organization like Southwest Airlines.