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Anthony LoPinto

Last week Herb Kelleher, the co-founder of Southwest Airlines, passed away, ushering-in a steady stream of memorials and upbeat obituaries for a man who the New York Times credited with a “quirky” style that yielded steady profits. He was famous for his devotion to Wild Turkey, riding his Harley, and chain-smoking. But more importantly, under his watch, SW has reported profits for each of the past 45 years in an industry famous for boom and bust performance. As I explored what distinguished Herb from other executives, I found that he excelled for a number of rather simple and straightforward reasons.

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