A man who wanted to be known by his employees simply as “Herb”

Whether you have ever traveled on Southwest Airlines (I have met people in Texas that have never left the state, let alone been on an airplane) or not, I am about to tell you a little bit about one of the men responsible for starting the company and keeping it airborne.

Mr. Herb Kelleher was a CEO unlike many others, as he actually took care of his people and put them before his own agenda. I recently learned a great deal about him and I only wish I could have been his friend. I could have learned so much and I would have been a better human had I been so fortunate. But even though I never knew him, those that did have been sharing what it was that made him special.

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I thought I would share those things with you because I truly believe that if you, and I, and those around us begin to harness these traits in our lives this world will in fact get better one person at a time.

Herb believed in leading with love and not fear and if you have been around long enough, you have likely seen both aspects of leadership (if you can even refer to fear as a type of leadership!). Herb could carry on a conversation with anyone. He looked at building a company as ‘human’ as the human beings within it.

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What can we do to be better? I will leave the challenge up to you to fill in the empty space after each phrase below…start doing these things in the interactions that are about to come your way…especially the very next one after you get done reading this because the only way to build a healthy habit is to start.

  1. Be interested
  2. Be approachable
  3. Be yourself, and allow others to do the same
  4. Be trustworthy
  5. Leave your ego at the door
  6. Be tough, but not mean (‘mean’ is dehumanizing, shaming, belittling, whereas ‘tough’ means that you hold others accountable)
  7. Don’t take yourself too seriously
  8. It’s okay to say I love you

I look forward to hearing about how this works out for you…and thanks again for reading this blog and for taking a look at my new book. Stay blessed!

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