Howard D. Putnam
About Howard Putnam - Leadership and Inspirational Speaker:
Howard Putnam led the visioning process at Southwest as well as further developing the
fun culture and excellent customer service that Southwest is still known for today. Southwest has been profitable every year for over thirty years, a record unsurpassed by any other airline.
Howard was raised on an Iowa farm and learned to fly out of a pasture in his Father's J-3 Piper Cub. He entered the airline business as a baggage handler at Midway Airport in Chicago for Capital Airlines at age 17. Capital was soon merged into United and Howard held thirteen different positions in sales, services and staff assignments in several cities, before being named Group Vice President of Marketing for United Airlines, the world's largest airline, in 1976.
In 1978 he was recruited to become President and CEO of fledgling Southwest Airlines in Dallas, TX. While at Southwest Howard and his team tripled the revenues and tripled profitability in three years. They also successfully guided Southwest through airline deregulation and Southwest was the first air carrier to order the Boeing 737-300, which later became the largest selling aircraft ever for Boeing.
In 1981, Howard was recruited by the board of directors of Braniff International to come aboard as CEO and save and/or restructure the financially failing airline. He was the first airline CEO to successfully take a major carrier into, through and out of chapter 11. Braniff flew again in 1984.
He is the author of The Winds of Turbulence on leadership and ethics. Harvard University wrote a case study on his experiences at Braniff, The Ethics of Bankruptcy as a model as to how to handle stakeholders in crisis.
What Howard Putnam Talks About:
Visioning: Some Play The Game, Others Change The Way The Game Is Played
Southwest Airlines changed the way the game is played in the airline industry. They created a new model that focused on low costs, low fares and great customer service. The goal was to expand the size of the pie (market). They hired
attitudes and developed skill sets. Tradition doesn’t always work in any industry. Sometimes you have to flip your model upside down for a fresh look.
Leadership: Successful Strategies Through Turbulence
Leaders must have a clear and concise vision if they want their organizations to survive and thrive through turbulence. A clear understanding of what business or businesses you are really in is critical. Cultures can then be developed to support the vision and business. Bottom line improvement comes through your people. Howard Putnam has successfully led organizations through the maze following these principles of leadership and will share them with you.
Innovation: Creating a Culture and Process for Ideas to Hatch
Innovation and bold steps occur in organizations that embrace and foster a climate and culture for risk taking and idea implementation. Howard Putnam proved this philosophy works when he was CEO of Southwest Airlines. He positioned and organized Southwest for growth and profitability utilizing a very flat management structure with decision making and idea development embedded in everyone’s job scope and responsibility. Individuals and teams were rewarded for risk taking and for designing out of the box processes and improvements in productivity, customer service, cost containment, safety and profitability. Brands develop when people thrive in the vision and experience. In this presentation he will describe how this can work in your organization.
Change: Transforming Organizations Successfully & Profitably
Many organizations are out of alignment in the current turbulent environment. Their design is outdated with bureaucracy and a hierarchy that is expensive and inefficient. Howard Putnam will show you how to transform your business into a
flow state organization that is focused, nimble, flexible, cost effective and able to utilize the
stages of turbulence which he will identify for you to take advantage of being in a change state.
Howard, you were fabulous at our meeting Saturday. Our staff is raving about you. You have charisma coming out of your ears. It was a pleasure to listen to your presentation.