Herb Kelleher Quotes


Best 62 Quotes by Herb Kelleher – Page 1 of 3

“A company is stronger if it is bound by love rather than by fear.”

“A motivated employee treats the customer well. The customer is happy, so they keep coming back. It's not one of the enduring green mysteries of all time; it is just the way it works.”

“Anybody who seeks wealth as an end in itself is always going to be disappointed. What you really should be doing is seeking excellence in achievement.”

“Culture is intangible. It's spiritual. You can't buy it.”

“Everybody in Texas would tell me that they thought I was nuts trying to start Southwest Airlines. There probably weren't 10 people in the state who would have given a plug nickel for our chances of making a dollar. So sometimes, you need a little courage, too, just to buck popular opinion.”

“Fight hierarchy and bureaucracy as hard as you possibly can. Don't ever let it become the master; always remember it's the servant.”

“Hire for attitude, train for skill.”

“I don't really have any peeves, and I fly other carriers a good bit. My experience has been good in terms of getting on the airplane expeditiously and getting to my destination as need be, on time, with my bags – which I carry on.”

“I forgive all personal weaknesses except egomania and pretension.”

“I guess the worst moment I ever had in business was the fear that Southwest Airlines wouldn't get off the ground.”

“I just always have felt that people should be natural in their behavior, that they should be able to derive enjoyment from whatever they do. When they derive enjoyment, they tend to work together better; they tend to be more productive.”

“I learned it by doing it, and I was scared to death.”

“I love battles. I think it's part of the Irish in me.”

“I tell my employees that we're in the service business, and it's incidental that we fly airplanes.”

“I think my greatest moment in business was when the first Southwest airplane arrived after four years of litigation and I walked up to it and I kissed that baby on the lips and I cried.”

“I'd say my mother made more of a difference to me than anyone else did. I know that's a conventional and perhaps mundane answer, but my family was blown apart at the start of World War II.”

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“I've always been able to make erroneous decisions very quickly.”

“I've always said manage in good times so that you're ready for the bad times.”

“I've found that many of the greatest ideas surface in bars because that's where many people cultivate inspiration.”

“If employees aren't satisfied, they won't promote the product we need.”

“If the employees come first, then they're happy. A motivated employee treats the customer well. The customer is happy so they keep coming back, which pleases the shareholders. It's not one of the enduring green mysteries of all time, it is just the way it works.”

“If the Wright brothers were alive today Wilbur would have to fire Orville to reduce costs.”

“If you create an environment where the people truly participate, you don't need control. They know what needs to be done and they do it. And the more that people will devote themselves to your cause on a voluntary basis, a willing basis, the fewer hierarchies and control mechanisms you need.”

“If you don't treat your own people well, they won't treat other people well.”

“If you're crazy enough to do what you love for a living, then you're bound to create a life that matters.”

“It is my practice to try to understand how valuable something is by trying to imagine myself without it.”

“It takes nerves of steel to stay neurotic.”

“Just because you don't announce your plan doesn't mean you don't have one.”

“Leading an organization is as much about soul as it is about systems. Effective leadership finds its source in understanding.”

“Most people think of us as this flamboyant airline, but we're really very conservative from the fiscal standpoint.”

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“I believe in deeds, not words.”

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