Lead with LuvThe most important thing to know when looking at buying this book is that it is NOT a how-to book on helping your own company become friendly and fun like Southwest Airlines. Rather, it is a straightforward transcript of a conversation between Southwest president Colleen Barrett and motivational author Ken Blanchard. It is not even Ken interviewing Colleen (although that is what it purports to be). Instead, Ken spends just as much time promoting his own books and talents as talking to her, and his words are the ones in bold. I have to admit that it put me off. I picked this up to learn about Colleen and what she's done with Southwest, not to have Ken go off yet again on a tangent about his great speaking skills.
Still, let's say you accept that up front. You understand that you're a fly on the wall at a bar conversation where Colleen and Ken both ramble on about the things they do well. With that frame of mind, the experience becomes enjoyable. They both agree on many points. A person responsible for employees should *lead* them, showing by example the values and priorities of the company, rather than being a "manager" who quotes policy and looks for people to blame. You want to encourage and enthuse your employees and co-workers - cheer them promptly when they do something good. Help to make sure everyone understands the company's mission and why it does what it does.
Don't just satisfy your customers. Make them THRILLED to be with you. Turn them into your evangelists. The same with your employees. If you're having problems, for example financial issues, share with them. They can become your strongest allies in finding solutions.
Treat everyone fairly, with respect, and build trust. Have a sense of humor, too. Be able to relax and enjoy life.
I enjoyed the section that talked about the various meanings of the word "love" - and how Colleen practiced these traits, and was challenged by them. I think this sort of exercise is one that we all should do occasionally, to see where we're doing well and what areas we need to work on.
On the down side, I really disagreed with Ken whining about being resisted when he tried in essence to repeatedly force his way onto a plane without proper ID (on a different airline). Especially in this day and age I think it was a bad story to tell in the first place, and for a man who claims to want to show respect to others, to try to think HE should be special treatment because he AUTHORED A BOOK floors me. I don't care if he has a book with his photo on it. He forgot the ID, he should go back and get it and take a later flight. His selfishness had no place in this story.
If they do a second version of the book, I'd like to see it done with more of a focus on Colleen, less of a focus on Ken's self-supporting promotions, and that story really should go. Surely he has 100 other stories which make the same point without that nasty aftertaste.
Buy Lead with Luv from Amazon.com
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