Being ranked fourth by Fortune on their World’s Most Admired Company list is a great honor, and we are certainly in good company with Apple, Google, and Berkshire Hathaway ahead of us. When you think of how many businesses there are worldwide, being named to this elite group is a remarkable achievement. What’s even more remarkable is that we have been in this “neighborhood” before. In the five previous rankings, we were in the top-ten for three of those rankings and the top-20 the other two years.
Probably the most gratifying part of the Fortune rankings is that executives at other companies, including our competitors, compile the rankings. Having said that, while the recognition is amazing, we know our real rankings are based on how we do with you, our Customers, on a daily basis. Over the next few days, you will see some posts on different traits that we think make Southwest admirable like Culture and Customer Service, just to name a few.
The most admirable aspect of Southwest Airlines is our Employees. What they’ve accomplished in 40 years is truly amazing. One of my favorite things about Southwest gets said a lot, but it is true. Any airline can copy our business model, and because it’s a good one, they probably will have some success. What they can’t copy are our People, who are the profound Southwest difference. And those people do two amazing things that sound so simple, but are so difficult to do well: One is that they work hard, fueled by a desire to be the best—this is part of what we call the Warrior Spirit. The other is that they follow The Golden Rule and treat others the way they would like to be treated, and this is a Servant’s Heart.
Are we perfect? Nope because we are a Company of over 35,000 Employees and somewhere across our system, an Employee may be having a bad day. In addition, we are an airline, and we operate through rain, snow, and wind. Weather affects airline operations, and flights run late at times. We can’t eliminate challenges, but we can control our response to those challenges, and even though we may be having a bad day, we will do our best to make it your best day ever. While we are very grateful for this honor, the honor that counts most is your continued patronage.