What words would you use to describe effective leadership? Strategic? Firm? Focused? What about loving? At first glance, most leaders probably don’t feel love and leadership go together. But, in his most recent book, Lead with Luv, acclaimed author and speaker Ken Blanchard reveals the necessity of servant leadership as demonstrated by Southwest Airline’s former president, Colleen Barrett.
Colleen started out as an executive assistant to Herb Kelleher, who later went on to start Southwest Airlines. Because of her heart, passion, and caring spirit, Herb eventually made her president of the now multi-million-dollar company. Colleen believed in and lived out the concept that leadership is a way a life – it’s not about a title or about managing people.
She also believed that the best form of leadership is servant leadership, which is simply love in action. Still wondering how those two concepts go together? Being strategic, setting a vision, and mapping out action plans are all about the leadership part. The servant and loving part comes in to play when setting policies, creating processes, and demonstrating behaviors. And, despite some people’s doubts, the accuracy of Southwest’s mentality of “treat your people right and good things will happen” has been proven true by soaring profits, dedicated customers, and low employee turnover.
As Ken records his conversations with Colleen, he shows how Southwest’s dedication to its three goals – to be the employer of choice, provider of choice, and investment of choice – has shaped a company that’s become the envy of CFOs, HR professionals, and workers across the nation. Take time to read this book and try changing your mentality of leadership for a week. Instead of being a self-serving leader who thinks you own your position and spends most of your time protecting it, try becoming a servant leader who fully understands that your position is simply a loan from your employers, customers, partners, and shareholders.
Want to learn more leadership tips like these from Ken Blanchard and other top leadership experts? Join us, Ken Blanchard, Walter Bond, and Peyton Manning on May 18 at the Refresh Leadership Live Simulcast. For more information or to learn more about how you can attend this exciting event in a city near you or to find out what leadership topics you’ll hear about, visit www.refreshleadership.com/live.