November 18, 2011
…thank you for choosing to fly Southwest.
by Daryl Leisey
A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to take a flight to visit our children who attend college in western Tennessee. After researching all the options, we decided on a flight offered by Southwest Airlines. I know there has been much said and written about the airline industry in general and Southwest Airlines in particular. I recognize and understand that good people can have very different views on this subject.
The plane was full as we excitedly headed off to see our children, whom we had not seen for about 3 months. As the plane began to push away from the gate, the flight attendants made sure that all the overhead bins were closed, seats were in an upright position and…well, you know the routine.
However, as the one flight attendant began giving the pre-flight instructions, I quickly knew that this was going to be anything but routine. “If you are traveling with a child or a spouse who is acting like one, please make sure to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before attempting to assist your child with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one child, take a moment, decide which one is your favorite or which one has more potential…” It went on from there.
Honestly, I have learned to ignore most pre-flight instructions from hearing them so often over the years. What struck me was that as I was listening to (and enjoying) the attendant giving the instructions, I took notice of not only my fellow passengers but also the other flight attendants. They were smiling and laughing as much as the rest of us were.
I began to think about the intentionality of Southwest in both creating and sustaining a culture and work environment that people enjoy being a part of. One fundamental of the Southwest culture is: Happy Employees = Happy Customers. They do things to “keep their Employees motivated and make it worthwhile to work hard for the Company they love!”
At North Group, we often say that “culture eats strategy for lunch”. How do your employees feel about the company they work for? Many leaders settle for tolerate, aim for enjoy, but love?
“…thank you for choosing to fly Southwest. We appreciate you and your money.”
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