Two of my favorite examples of Love-Based Leadership (LBL) in action include Southwest Airlines and Semco.
Southwest Airlines has demonstrated repeatedly that a holistic, loving focus (they are the “LUV” airline!) has brought abundance and meaning to their leaders and employees. They learned that when employees are trusted to make decisions, and when they have ownership of their work, they often come up with better solutions than those the company could have found. They responded much quicker to customers’ demands and the employees directed their energy toward innovation, seizing unique and creative market opportunities at critical times. “The Southwest story demonstrates over and over that people will act responsibly and do more than expected when they are given the freedom to think on their own.”1
The manufacturing company, Semco, demonstrated great love for their employees with the change from the traditional models of doing business to an organizational culture that honored and respected their people. As Ricardo Semler, CEO put it, “To survive in modern times, a company must have an organizational structure that accepts change as it basic premise, lets tribal customs thrive, and fosters a power that is derived from respect, not rules. In other words, the successful companies will be the ones that put quality of life first. Do this and the rest—quality of product, productivity of workers, profits for all—will follow.”2
What LBL organizations do you know of and how do they demonstrate LBL?
1. Freiberg, Kevin, and Jackie Freiberg. Nuts! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success. New York: Broadway Books, 1998.
2.0Semler, Ricardo. Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace. New York: Warner Books, 1993.
Content copyright 2012. Dr. Maria J. Church. All rights reserved.