The main difference between management and leadership is that managers have people working for them while leaders have workers following them. In other words, managers are responsible for the planning, organizing, decision-making and accuracy of the business whereas leaders have the ability to promote them. In my opinion, knowing the difference between management and leadership is important. Without dedicated leaders promoting strong managers who are capable of handling the daily goals of the business and creating motivated teams to achieve those goals, the business will not be successful. In this essay, I’m going to talk about Gary C.Kelly, CEO and Chairman for Southwest Airlines. I’ll describe some of the actions and decisions he has made and why I think it is beneficial to treat employees better than the customers.
According to Academia, Gary Kelly is a very self-motivated, team-oriented, and initiative man. He is an excellent decision maker. One of the greatest decisions he has made for Southwest Airlines is to not charge travelers for baggage check. He feels that when other airlines charge for baggage check, they are literally asking the travelers to weigh themselves before boarding the plane (Carney, 2014). Mr.Kelly’s decision to go against the charges for baggage check is one of the main reasons Southwest Airlines is America’s favorite airlines.
In a recent post on LinkedIn, Gary Kelly outlines what he has found to be the five most essential principles to effective leadership. He believes “leadership is about people. Period.” One of the key principles he talked about was caring –caring for people and caring about people. The next key principle is communication. One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is not communicating well with their team, customers, and others. Mr. Kelly feels that “teamwork isn’t about “going along.” It’s about hearing all views honestly, admitting mistakes vulnerably, and sharing risks and rewards jointly.” A third key principle is your character –how you carry yourself. Of course, above all things, you must be competent. How can you be a strong leader if you do not know what you are doing? This is yet another of Kelly’s key principles. Finally, leaders must be courageous. Mr. Kelly quotes “It’s a lot easier to let someone else own the problem or make the decision. It’s a lot harder to stand up, speak up and be accountable” (Kelly, 2015).
In my opinion, a company’s managers are its backbone. Therefore, they should be treated with the same dignity and respect that is expected of them when serving customers. According to Wendy Lea, CEO of Cintrifuse, your employees are your teammates. She quotes “these aren’t worker bees. They are whole individuals with human needs and desires. Appreciate those and you can make your company stronger” (Lea, 2012). If a company’s managers cannot win the satisfaction of their customers, then the customer may go looking in another direction for satisfaction.
In conclusion, management is not to be confused with leadership. Some people only hold the knowledge to be managers. According to Gary Kelly, leadership is a lot harder than management. In leadership, it is not just about decision-making, it is about promoting those decisions into success. It is up to the managers to make sure customers are satisfied; but it is the leaders who make managers great.
- Carney, A. (2014, March 9). BUS 520 Assignement 4. Retrieved from Academia.edu: https://www.academia.edu/9229017/BUS_520_Assignement_4
- Kelly, G. (2015, March 27). Leadership Is About People. Period. Retrieved from LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/five-principles-leadership-gary-kelly
- Lea, W. (2012, February 16). A Better Way to Treat Your Employees. Retrieved from Inc.com: http://www.inc.com/wendy-lea/treat-your-employees-like-humans-increase-productivity.html