The Best Herb Kelleher Quotes

The success setup

Motivation & productivity Hacks and Mindsets from the most successful entrepreneurs.

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The success setup

Motivation & productivity Hacks and Mindsets from the most successful entrepreneurs.

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Herb Kelleher quotes on people


Most people think of us as this flamboyant airline, but we’re really very conservative from the fiscal standpoint. -Herb Kelleher

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Keep costs low and spirits high, and the people of Southwest Airlines will keep LUV in the air. -Herb Kelleher

Our people know that if they are sick, we will take care of them. If there are occasions of grief or joy, we will be there with them. They know that we value them as people, not just cogs in a machine. -Herb Kelleher

The tragedy of our time is that we’ve got it backwards, we’ve learned to love techniques and use people. -Herb Kelleher

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I’ve found that many of the greatest ideas surface in bars because that’s where many people cultivate inspiration. -Herb Kelleher

I’ve been asked a number of times what was my proudest accomplishment when I was still very active in the day-to-day affairs of Southwest Airlines. I always said job security for our people. -Herb Kelleher

You have to have the service mentality in the sense that you subjugate your own ego, and you subjugate a large part of your own life to really helping other people, being successful on their behalf. -Herb Kelleher

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One piece of advice that always stuck in my mind is that people should be respected and trusted as people, not because of their position or title. -Herb Kelleher

The people of Southwest have always been my pride, my joy and my love. Their indomitable dedication and esprit de corps have taken Southwest from a three-airplane dream to a 500-airplane reality. -Herb Kelleher

People with different personalities, different approaches, different values succeed not because one set of values or priorities is superior but because their values and practices are genuine. -Herb Kelleher

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Herb Kelleher quotes on business


The business of business is people. -Herb Kelleher

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The more time I spend with our people, the more I find out about our business. -Herb Kelleher

I guess the worst moment I ever had in business was the fear that Southwest Airlines wouldn’t get off the ground. -Herb Kelleher

Who says a lighthearted approach to business is incompatible with success? -Herb Kelleher

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I tell my employees that we’re in the service business, and it’s incidental that we fly airplanes. -Herb Kelleher

We’ve always operated on the thesis that a company can have a personality, that people can be themselves, and be very successful in business at the same time. -Herb Kelleher

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. -Herb Kelleher

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When I started working on Southwest Airlines, I kid you not, only people flying on business and very wealthy people ever flew. -Herb Kelleher

You can’t have a mid-life crisis in the airline industry because every day is a crisis. -Herb Kelleher

What’s important is that a customer should get off the airplane feeling, ‘I didn’t just get from A to B. I had one of the most pleasant experiences I ever had, and I’ll be back for that reason.’ -Herb Kelleher

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The clear, unmistakable sign of a bureaucrat is somebody who worries about whether he has a window. -Herb Kelleher

The important thing is to take the bricklayer and make him understand that he’s building a home, not just laying bricks. -Herb Kelleher

I’m here to tell you that I am proud of a couple of things. First, I am very good at projectile vomiting. Second, I’ve never had a really serious venereal disease. -Herb Kelleher

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Herb Kelleher quotes on treat


You have to treat your employees like customers -Herb Kelleher

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Herb Kelleher quotes on employees


If employees aren’t satisfied, they won’t promote the product we need. -Herb Kelleher

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Herb Kelleher quotes on southwest


The spirit of Southwest Airlines is exuberant, it’s caring, it’s dedicated, it’s diligent, it’s fun, it’s rewarding, it’s a joy. -Herb Kelleher

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Herb Kelleher quotes on difference


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. -Herb Kelleher

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More from Herb kelleher


My suggestion is that if you need someone outside your company to prepare a mission statement for you, then you really don’t know what your mission is, and you probably don’t have one. -Herb Kelleher

The Wright Amendment is a pain in the ass, but not every pain in the ass is a constitutional infringement. -Herb Kelleher

I love battles. I think it’s part of the Irish in me. -Herb Kelleher

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We have a strategic plan. It’s called ‘doing things’. -Herb Kelleher

I learned it by doing it, and I was scared to death. -Herb Kelleher

You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills. -Herb Kelleher

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Fight hierarchy and bureaucracy as hard as you possibly can. Don’t ever let it become the master; always remember it’s the servant. -Herb Kelleher

You can have parties without spending enormous sums of money. -Herb Kelleher

Culture is intangible. It’s spiritual. You can’t buy it. -Herb Kelleher

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I think flying is kind of an emotional experience. -Herb Kelleher

Just because you don’t announce your plan doesn’t mean you don’t have one. -Herb Kelleher

I’ve always said manage in good times so that you’re ready for the bad times. -Herb Kelleher

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Nothing kills your company’s culture like layoffs. -Herb Kelleher

I’ve always been able to make erroneous decisions very quickly. -Herb Kelleher

Think small and act small, and we’ll get bigger. Think big and act big, and we’ll get smaller. -Herb Kelleher

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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. -Herb Kelleher

If the Wright brother were alive today Wilbur would have to fire Orville to reduce costs. -Herb Kelleher

Sometimes you need a little courage too just to buck popular opinion. -Herb Kelleher

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I forgive all personal weaknesses except egomania and pretension. -Herb Kelleher

It takes nerves of steel to stay neurotic. -Herb Kelleher

Wild Turkey whiskey and Philip Morris cigarettes are essential to the maintenance of human life! -Herb Kelleher Leading an organization is as much about soul as it is about systems. Effective leadership finds its source in understanding -Herb Kelleher

I want to see Texas remain an entrepreneurial powerhouse in the United States. -Herb Kelleher

It is my practice to try to understand how valuable something is by trying to imagine myself without it. -Herb Kelleher

The success setup

Motivation & productivity Hacks and Mindsets from the most successful entrepreneurs.

guide thumb success habits productive mindset pdf

The success setup

Motivation & productivity Hacks and Mindsets from the most successful entrepreneurs.

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