I remember seeing my teacher’s gradebook for the first time, it looked like the one above. It seemed like a sacred book of secrets which held my past and would shape my feature. I also had that feeling of, “Oh, that’s how it’s done. The Great Oz pulled the curtain back a bit.” Sometimes the teacher would call us up to look at our six-week average before report cards went out, but she used two sheets of paper to cover the names above and below.
I’ve been thinking about the Ferris Bueller line about Abe Froman, The Sausage King of Chicago. I think it implies there are other sausage kings of other cities, yet I can’t name any. However, if there is an actual Sausage King of Chicago, the Chigago Tribune makes the strong argument it would be Vienna Beef CEO Jim Bodman.
I’m taking the bold step of switching my ISP and television from Frontier FiOS and DirecTV to Spectrum. I ran the numbers and I’ll save about $750 a year (taxes and fees included) and will still receive all the channels I care about (with DVR) and my internet speed will go from 80/80 Mbps to 200/200 Mbps with no data caps, throttling, and free equipment (no rentals).
I still firmly believe the U.S. is better off with Donald Trump as president than Ted Cruz.
There will never be another business person I admire more than Herb Kelleher. I could write pages about my admiration for him.
I only worked at Southwest Airlines as a contractor, never as an Employee (it’s part of their culture to always capitalize “Employee(s)”. It was well known he drove an Aston Martin, after all, there was an “Aston Martin Speed Limit” sign in the parking lot just for him. It was also well known if you parked far away from the entrance and he was driving in, he would often give an Employee a ride to the entrance. That never happened to me, but I do recall coming back from a lunch outing and waiting on the elevator. When it opened it was like that scene in Pulp Fiction when the briefcase was opened. It was him. It was the first time I ever saw the legend in real life, my business hero. I felt like I was meeting a mixture of all things Elvis and a bit of that Bill Clinton quality in which you feel like you were his entire focus of attention and felt his affection for you as an individual. Before my brain even had a chance to engage in a verbal reaction he extended his hand and exchanged some pleasantries in such a way that made me feel like he knew me from back in high school. I thought of that moment when I read this piece from the Dallas Morning News’ Terry Maxon:
Everybody who met Herb Kelleher was instantly his friend. He leaned in, offered an observation, a confidence, then let go with his big, drawn-out laugh, a-HAAA-HAAAA-ha! If you said something halfway funny, he rewarded you with another big laugh that ended only when he ran out of air. For the time you spent with Herb, you were the only one who existed. You were his best friend, the person he’d rather be talking to than anyone else in the world. You were awash in the glow of his admiration.
He is probably the second richest person I’ve shaken hands with, the first being Ross Perot when I attended a party at his house. The New York Times listed Herb’s wealth at $2.5 billion at the time of his death.
If you go to www.herbkelleher.com it will simply redirect you to Southwest.com.
The walls of Southwest Airlines headquarters are well known to be decorated with pictures and letters of Employees. One, in particular, got my attention. It was to Herb thanking him for co-founding the airline and making it successful and a great place to work, allowing him to have a career so he could provide for his family, buy a house, and send his kids to college. At the time, I think Southwest had 30,000 Employees. I wondered what it must be like to drive to the headquarters of a business you helped start and to know all the jobs and careers you created, and in doing so, all the lives you impacted because you created a means for them to provide their family.
Some of you may remember I used to write for Southwest’s blog. Here’s an old entry but I see the pictures I posted with it no longer appear.
Just an observation about the picture below which hangs on one of the walls of the headquarters of Southwest Airlines (just click to enlarge). The person on the left is Herb Kelleher, a co-founder and Chairman Emeritus and former CEO and President of the airline. You’ve heard me gush about him before, but the person on the right is no other than Neil Armstrong. What cracks me up is that the first human to ever set foot on the moon, one of the most famous persons from a historical perspective, is wearing a name tag. I know he’s not one to be in the spotlight much and he’s aged and all and that “one small step for man” moment happened over 40-years ago, but just the thought of the first human on the moon having to wear a name tag is a bit funny to me.