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Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on gary kelly as chief executive officer of southwest airlines. In 2008, Garry became the Chairman of the Board after the eventful retirement of the founder, strategist and mentor Herb Kelleher. Kelly’s most outstanding achievements prior to his elevation to CEO include a successful fuel-hedging initiative that saw the airline sustain profitability and competitiveness while other airlines were going under, emphasis on the employment on passenger-friendly technology, and other cost-containment measures that to a large extent molded the company to what it is today (Hauck, 2008). The CEO’s emphasis on the importance of caring for people and putting employees first vividly demonstrates that he practices servant leadership. The servant leadership concept was coined in 1970 by Robert K. Greenleaf to demonstrate a kind of leadership that requires people to be servants first before aspiring to be leaders, and to assist followers to “grow healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, and more likely themselves to become leaders” (Boone & Makhani, 2012 p. 83). Garry has been known to advance a leadership style that acknowledges and gives credit to employees by firmly believing that leadership is more a function of people’s relationships than position (Wright & Mujtaba, 2011). In line with the servant leadership paradigm, Garry not only recognizes the empowerment of people (employees, customers, and stakeholders) is an important goal, but also shares with them his vision for the future in addition to communicating the desired strategic direction of the organization with regard to its mission, values, and beliefs. The CEO also demonstrates his moral objective of serving people by showing sensitivity to their concerns, encouraging and facilitating employees to identify and solve challenges, demonstrating genuine concern for subordinates’ career growth and development by providing support and mentoring, and using actions and words to make it clear to employees that satisfying their work needs is a priority (Lauer, 2010).&nbsp.The CEO’s philosophy emphasizes “purpose, process, and people [that is], getting people to help define and then align with purpose, developing the processes to accomplish the purpose, and then attracting and maintaining to push the processes” (Nowicki & Summers, 2007 p. 118). This philosophy is firmly grounded on putting people first as reinforced by the corporate culture of Southwest. There is a near perfect alignment between the CEO’s leadership style and the organization’s culture by virtue of the fact that it underlines and reinforces people aspects that inform the corporate culture. These aspects include flexible workplace environment, recognition and appreciation of employees for exemplary achievement, group decision making, team building approach, warrior spirit, leading with a Servant’s Heart, and a Fun-LUVing attitude (McGee-Cooper et al., 2008). Extant literature demonstrates that Garry’s personal values of trust in employees, respecting people, caring attitude, vision, clarity, sacrifice, duty, aspiration and higher sense of purpose aligns well with the organizational values of putting employees first, excellent customer service, teamwork, rewarding employee excellence, enabling employees, customers and neighbors (stakeholders) to interact in a LOVE-filled environment, and doing the right thing as a way of life at Southwest Airlines (Southwest Airlines, 2008. Lauer, 2010). &nbsp.&nbsp.

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