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Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

Anything You Do Affects Everything You Do ~ Herb Kelleher

In gearing up for some work we are doing with Humana, one of their executives shared an article on the importance of leading and growing a company based upon practicing the “Genius of the AND.”

After reading through the article we were struck by the fact that the Genius of the And is also the secret recipe to Southwest Airlines success over the past 43 years.  

The article unpacks the challenge and opportunity of getting leaders to embrace the Genius of the AND vs. creating a vicious cycle by getting trapped in the “Tyranny of the OR.” Over the years, Southwest Airlines, has fully embraced the “genius of the and.”

Think about it:

They are a disciplined, on-time airline And their culture is family-like…

They are low-cost & efficient And have created a one-of-a-kind service experience for every customer…

They are able to achieve economies of scale And give people the freedom to personalize offerings at every location and on every plane.

When we shared the article with Herb Kelleher, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines, this was his response:

I’m planning to steal ‘getting leaders to embrace the genius of the AND vs. creating…the tyranny of the OR.’ Beautifully expressed and profoundly pithy! When Colleen and I were leading Southwest, I frequently used the word ‘holistic’ to signify, in essence, that anything we did affected everything we did, and Colleen was masterful in her comprehension of this.”

The attached article, Reflections, deals with the criticality of managing this creative tension (the article actually uses Singapore Airlines as their example but we think Southwest is masterful at managing this creative tensions as well).

How good are you and your team at managing the creative tension in the Genius of the And? Great companies capitalize on this creative tension and do whatever-it-takes to avoid “either or” thinking, planning and problem solving.

Where can your business benefit from applying the “Genius of the AND?”

Cheers,
Kevin & Jackie
Speaking on Leadership, Innovation, & Global Trends…

Creating the BEST places where the BEST people can do
their BEST work to make the world BETTER.

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