The next big wave of growth will come from businesses whose leaders know how to convert low-cost intangibles like culture into high bottom-line value.
Although there is gold to be found in a good culture, "gold-digging" is not the purpose of great leaders who successfully build golden cultures. Southwest's caring for people, both employees and customers, was not conceived merely as a strategy for success. Southwest cares for its people because it believes that is the morally right thing to do. People are not a means to an end (profit), but an end in and of themselves (satisfied customers, happy employees). And, like the piety of the Kabbalistic master's disciples that could be converted into gold, Kelleher's "morality" was changed into gold, too. Success was the outcome of caring, not the reason for it.