Best Examples of Inspirational Business Leadership

April 6, 2012 8:27 am Comments

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The world is full of examples, good or bad. Corporate world is just another thread of the same fabric. However, there are certain examples in the corporate world which would force you to rethink if the corporate world is really that greedy as portrayed by the messiahs of socialism and communism. These examples may well be a part of strategic leadership but as long as it is not for the bad, it is for good. Here are a few exemplary displays of inspiring leadership.

  1. Southwest Airlines trouble shooting post 9/11: Immediate after 9/11, airlines were forced to shut shop as US administration had prohibited air travel to ensure no such hijack occurs. This resulted in heavy losses to many airlines and most of them resorted to shedding jobs by 20% in order to cut down on losses. In a striking contrast, SW not only ensured that there won’t be any job cuts but also introduced a profit sharing initiative, for employees, worth $179.8 million. The management gave credit of this to the concrete business principles of Southwest.
  2. CEO of Costco is an average employee of Costco: For a company which is the 7th largest retailer in the world, it is unbelievable that its founder and CEO has a salary of U$35,000, doesn’t have his own office, has a single sheet contract which also states he can be terminated for not working “properly”.  However, this all is a reality and CEO Jim Sinegal lives in the time when the CEOs of large organizations are paid in millions as salaries excluding the perks and benefits. He is loved by his employees for being and working as an employee of the company. Now how many CEOs with such austere life have you heard of?
  3. Howard Schultz’s reaction to the Starbucks tragedy: While most CEOs would have issued a press release and have made public statements, Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, preferred to travel to its employees and spent a long week with them and their families after 3 Starbucks employees of a Washington DC store were killed in a store robbery. His behavior ensured that the ones directly affected by the tragedy didn’t have to wait long for a comforting shoulder during the time of crisis. Such displays at Starbucks aren’t rare as the organization has a history of employee satisfaction ordeals.
  4. Transparency displayed by Toyota during recall crisis: A few years ago, Toyota had to recall more than 2 million four wheelers due to the persisting issue of flawed brakes. This resulted in a mass outrage and Toyota’s name was being tarnished with scores of law suits and complaints against it. However, this massive setback didn’t prompt Toyota administration to push for an aggressive PR campaign to spread positivity towards Toyota. Instead, the CEO Jim Lentz appeared on an extremely popular social community on the web, Digg. Lentz faced thousands of seething questions and tried his best to answer most of them with utmost dignity without losing his temper. The sheer openness of Toyota was applauded by the web community and it was hoped that such a brave face in the wake of a virtual disaster would certainly help Toyota regain the lost ground.
  5. TDIndustries managed to save itself from Bankruptcy: For a company which is a prominent mention on Forbes’ list of Best Companies to Work for, it is a matter of utter disgust that it almost failed during late 1980s as it didn’t have enough funds to undertake bigger construction contracts. Banks were not doing well and it didn’t help their cause either. The leadership devised a plan in which they were to offer a retirement plan to the employees who in turn would invest the same money in the company to help it keep floating. This all was done transparently and since the company enjoyed immense trust from its staff, it didn’t take much for the employees to fund the organization with much more than what was asked for and TDIndustries survived the ordeal against time. Neither the captain abandoned the ship nor did the sailors abandon the captain.
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