You may have missed the news back in October when Southwest Airlines CEO, Gary Kelly, announced the company's plan to to do anything and everything possible to avoid layoffs and furloughs. One part of that plan got us thinking about leadership and what it takes to lean an airline with a 49-year streak of no layoffs through a global pandemic. It's an impressive span that got even more impressive when the company made the span 50 years.
After pledging to take zero salary through 2021, and working with Southwest's Board of Directors, Senior Leadership Team, and non-union employees to take reductions in fees/salaries, Southwest was able to confirm they will make it through one more year without a single layoff or furlough.
It has to be pretty lonely at the top, but this airline executive is proving that the top doesn't have to go it alone when making the right decisions for everyone involved.
Hopefully now the on-point in-flight comedy can resume when our tray tables are in their full and upright positions.