The following is an email I received from Howard Putman – the former CEO of Southwest Airlines. I met Howard at a former Wyoming business Conference, one which I am speaking at this year, and his message focused on developing the most imporatant asset in any business – Human Capital. I communicated with Howard about his story and he gave me the go ahead to pass his story on to you. Enjoy.
Leadership: Strengthening Leadership Development
Some months ago, I was invited to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to speak at a dinner for 120 CEOs and board members. They were all a part of the strategic investment house, called Khazanah, owned by the government of Malaysia. Over time, they are privatizing a piece of each of the many companies they own. They are called GLC’s (Government Linked Companies) and the government still has the controlling interest. Khazanah is a very progressive and professional group of experts providing oversight and training for the CEOs, senior management and their boards of directors. This group of companies produces over 5% of the country’s gross domestic product. The market capitalization of the group is approx. 30% of the entire stock market. This has been a major undertaking.
They want their CEO’s to spend at least 30% of their time developing leaders. That includes a minimum of one hour per quarter giving personal feedback to all of their direct reports. They want high potential employees moved into positions to challenge their growth.
They have designed detailed metrics and programs all included in: The Orange Book for Management and The Green Book for Boards of Directors. They focus heavily on their values and culture. But most of all they focus on the “importance of human capital.”
This kind of leadership development needs to be a part of every organization, small, medium and large. It was most impressive to see people walking their talk.
Howard Putnam speaks on leadership, change, transformation, customer service, teams and ethics. The National Speakers Association inducted Howard into the CPAE (Council of Peers Award of Excellence) Speakers Hall of Fame in 2005. He also is accredited as a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional).
He is the former CEO of the highly successful Southwest Airlines and the first CEO to take a major airline, Braniff International, into, through and out of Chapter 11, getting it flying again in less than two years.
Howard authored “The Winds of Turbulence”. If you would like more information on how purchase it go to
To check his availability as a keynote speaker or seminar facilitator, go to http://www.speakersoffice.com or call SpeakersOffice at 1-760-603-8110.