Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines is perhaps the most evangelistic CEO in the

Herb kelleher of southwest airlines is perhaps the

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Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines is perhaps the most evangelistic CEO in the cause of love. He states bluntly, ‘‘We’d rather have a com- pany run by love, not by fear,’’ paraphrasing, either consciously or un- consciously, 1 John 4:18: ‘‘Perfect love drives out fear.’’ The airline flies out of Dallas’ Love Field, its stock exchange symbol is ‘‘Luv,’’ the com- pany paper is called Luv Line, and its twentieth anniversary slogan was ‘‘Twenty Years of Loving You.’’ Empty rhetoric? Merely the hollow sounds of a resounding gong and a clanging cymbal? Ask the employees. Says one, ‘‘Herb loves us. We love Herb. We love one another. We love the company [sounds like the airline version of the Woodstock festival, only with a lot more profit added]. One of the primary beneficiaries of our collective caring is the passengers.’’ 25 Another example is Gore-Tex, the ‘‘miracle fabric’’ company, which was founded on love as surely as it was on scientific innovation. Says the CFO, Shanti Mehta, ‘‘Bill Gore never called me into his office. He always came to my desk, sat on my desk . . . He was a real wellspring from which love [there’s that nontechnical word again] flowed
68 THE BIBLE ON LEADERSHIP throughout the organization . . . After his death, the responsibility of doing this has fallen squarely on the shoulders of all of us.’’ 26 Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s feels love is as important an ingredient in his ice cream as heavy cream or chocolate fudge brownies: ‘‘When you give love, you receive love . . . there is a spiritual dimension to business just as there is to the lives of individuals.’’ 27 Pamela Coker, the CEO of Acucobol, a successful software company, is another proponent of universal love: ‘‘Love your customers, employ- ees, shareholders, vendors and community . . . and the profits will fol- low.’’ A company representative calls every customer once a month, and twice a year the customer receives a gift. Family and friends, not just employees, are invited to all company events. Says Coker, ‘‘I am committed to helping every Acucobol employee attain his or her dreams.’’ 28 The telecommunications industry has not always been known as a hotbed of love and compassion. But listen to two of its titans talk about the necessity for these traits: ‘‘If we face a recession, we should not lay off employees; the company should sacrifice a profit. It’s management’s risk and responsibility. Em- ployees are not guilty; why should they suffer?’’ (Akio Morita, CEO of Sony) ‘‘My philosophy of business? Five words: to love and to achieve. And the second will never happen without the first.’’ (Robert Galvin, former CEO of Motorola, addressing his successor and son, Chris, who will try to put these principles into action in the next generation) Compassion. Mercy. Forgiveness. Love. These timeless qualities are gradually returning to our boardrooms, our offices, our factories, and hopefully our homes, which are so often influenced by the climate at the workplace. The progress may be uneven at times, but as a general trend, these words from Ezekiel 11:19 are being manifested more often and with more conviction and intensity: ‘‘I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead.’’

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