By Kevin Freiberg essay

Kevin Freiberg is the founder and CEO of Freibergs. com, a professional speaking and consulting firm dedicated to equipping leaders for a world of change. He has a global practice working with firms in Europe, Japan, India, Central and South America, as well as companies throughout the United States and Canada. Freibergs. com works with over a hundred different groups a year.

Kevin’s constant interaction with business leaders around the world gives him the ability to identify future trends, garner best practices, and help clients discover what Works and what doesn’t work. Kevin is co-author of a compelling new book, NUTS! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success. This book is story behind the success of Southwest Airlines. The theme of the free nuts and low price service is driven home with example after example of the “radical” approach that is part of their “standard operating procedures”.

Instead of laying off people and cutting flights, Southwest Airlines has hired 6,500 new employees and added new routes. Instead of alienating customers, it has generated such loyalty that its passengers often donate unused portions of their tickets to the company and even send in cash and they were only major carrier to make so much profit every quarter. There is no reason to expect that they will not continue to succeed.

The passion for life and service is what drives their success and their stock ticker symbol is LOVE. Nuts! became passport to other great organizations, not only to those on Fortune magazine’s various “best” lists, but also to organizations that may not be on any list at all yet are known as the best within the communities they serve and are full of great people who are turned on, passionate, in love with what they do, and eager to use their skills, gifts, and talents to the fullest.

Southwest Airlines is still outrageously unique and still ingeniously nuts even after all these years, but I discovered something else as well. Many other enterprises, all nutty in their own ways, share an uncommon characteristic with Southwest. They’re all run by what we call “gutsy leaders,” meaning passionate men and women who don’t hesitate to slaughter the sacred cows of convention. We discovered such organizations in Welds ranging from software to advertising to the U. S.

military. All are led by people with the courage to discard traditional management rules, rituals, and expectations. They are gutsy enough to forge new paths, consistently serve their people first, and pursue a brilliant new way of working. The only fault I find with the book is that it is overlong. The stories are seemingly never ending. I hope this book will help people become more gutsy, too–more engaged, more considerate, more courageous, and most important, a better leader.