The Corporate Storyteller

Expert tips on management communications and the power of storytelling

Friday, January 14, 2011


Highly Effective Leaders Foster Volunteerism

Do your employees have a spirit of volunteerism--or do they do only as much as necessary to "succeed" in their jobs? A recent Washington Post article describes the volunteer spirit fostered by Southwest Airlines' management philosophy, which produces more engaged employees and a stronger bottom line.

Building on the "fun" approach to leadership established by Southwest founder Herb Kelleher, Southwest's succeeding leaders have inspired people to give all they've got to their jobs--not because they have to, but because they want to. Ever-increasing global competition (as well as economic challenges across the U.S. and around the world) are increasing the need to make the most of an organization's resources. As the article points out, an engaged workforce is an intangible asset that can be the competitive advantage that sets one company above the rest.

How do you engage your employees? Are they willing "volunteers"? We'll discuss more about Southwest's approach to management in future posts, and we'd love to hear your thoughts.

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