It’s February 2009 already, and we are nearing the holiday of love, yes Valentine’s Day. Oh stop rolling your eyes; you know you love to love as much as the rest of us. Ok, well I admit that I do love to be in the state of love especially while I am at work. Yes, it is possible to express loving qualities at work without losing your job and not feeling awkward. Well, at least if you work at Southwest Airlines.
As many of our fans of Southwest know, we are considered the “LUV” airline. Our Dallas Station is located at Love Field, our NYSE ticker symbol is LUV, and all of our Employees are motivated to express love with a Servant’s Heart. What’s a Servant’s Heart? I am so glad you asked! Having a Servant’s Heart simply means a genuine act of giving or helpful activity. In this Luving Company we are encouraged to use our Servant’s Heart to express our individual talents and skills which is actually giving to ourselves at the same time. Giving does not necessarily mean that we give all that we have and are left without something of value. When we give of ourselves, while utilizing our natural talents we feel a sense of accomplishment, and feel good. Who doesn’t want to feel good? That is a rhetorical question so, please do not reply with your top ten different reasons why you like to be negative 😃
As a hiring Manager in the Midwest Region, our Team is constantly looking for examples of a Servant’s Heart from our interview Candidates. These examples are not necessarily great acts of heroism, but rather a reflection of what one does on a daily basis without thinking about it, and to a Recruiter that is typically a sign of a natural talent. When someone has a natural talent of using their Servant’s Heart then we see that as a possible sign that this individual may be a good addition to Southwest Airlines. An example of one of our newly hired Employees’ using her natural talents was brought to us by her Team Leader, Jayne Cunningham: “Jean is patient, happy, caring, and positive. Expect to be greeted with a smile when you see her. She loves challenges and uses them as an opportunity to grow. She practices “The Golden Rule” treating the Customer the way she would want to be treated. Jean always strives to achieve “Positively Outrageous Customer Service”—something we all should be striving for!” (Jean Zarecki, Customer Support & Services Representative).
Jean Zarecki is a great example of how one can use what comes naturally to them to demonstrate a Servant’s Heart in the workplace. In addition to Jean, there are so many examples of people that have lived with a Servant’s Heart in history. In January, we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, and his life is a great example of giving and expressing love through his talent of Leadership. He once stated “Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
So, this Valentine’s Day I challenge you to look at expressing your love in a different way. Instead of purchasing an obligatory gift of candy, cards, and flowers why not give the gift of your Servant’s Heart. It is a gift that comes from your natural talents; it is not necessarily some amazing heroic feat but rather an expression of your heart. This has a value that is immeasurable and timeless, and can be accomplished with what comes naturally to you. Now, get out there and serve with your Servant’s Heart!