One of my favorite airlines is Southwest. What makes this airline so fun to fly is its people.
I love their safety announcements. On any other airline, it’s the standard, boring statements about what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency. When you fly on Southwest, they always spice the announcements up and add their own sense of flair. It immediately captures my attention.
At the core of Southwest's success is its willingness to let their people be special. On their website they say, "Our culture is often imitated, and never duplicated. Every employee is responsible for promoting and preserving our culture." This statement is played out when you see Southwest employees giving the safety demonstration before takeoff.
So many companies talk about culture and how their employees make them unique, but when you peel back the layers, you realize it is more talk than action. Giving employees the freedom and autonomy to act takes courage and guts. For most organizations, when the chips are down, they revert back to old habits of controlling employees.
You can’t have a culture like Southwest without a core set of values. I love the way Southwest lays out their values for everyone to see. These values are:
Strive to be the best
Display a sense of urgency
Never give up
Follow the Golden Rule
Treat others with respect
Embrace our Southwest family
Be a passionate team player
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Next time you want to see your team or organization perform beyond what you think is possible, compare yourself, your actions, and your values against Southwest’s and there is no telling how far your team can fly.
Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.