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Southwest Airlines Community

Thinking Like An Owner

Explorer A
I get asked by Customers, friends, family members, and associates what I think makes the service we (SWA Employees) provide unique.  When I say we are typically more proactive in our efforts to serve, I'm usually encouraged to explain how that is the case.  Inevitably, the conversation will circle back to the way any Employees views his/her duties and responsibilities.  In other words, does the person think like a disconnected drone, or does he/she feel empowered to make decisions on behalf of the Company?  The way I have always seen it, as a Southwest Employee, I have been given a precious, one-of-a-kind gift.  Our Company, its legendary history, and its unsurpassed success is like no other around the world.  As such, what we stand for and what we are expected to do is not something to be taken lightly.  I believe each of us holds a piece of the Company's future, and collectively we have been entrusted to keep the SOUTHWEST SPIRIT alive and carry the torch forward in the days ahead. To do that, I think we have to constantly exercise what works, as well as look for ways to better serve the Customer.  In our day-to-day jobs, we have to act like owners of a corner lemonade stand.  By doing so, we take personal responsibility for our product (in my case, the type of communication I carry out and the support I provide our Internal and External Customers); we stay nimble in response to other's expectations/feedback; we maintain a propensity to follow through on tasks; and we strive to achieve an environment that makes our Teammembers and Customers feel welcome.  Because our corner lemonade stands are part of a multifaceted corporation, as owners we also have to be open minded, studious, respectful, and trusting of our Fellow Proprietors' (if you will) corporate efforts; and in many respects, humble to the limitations of our own expertise. Thinking like an owner is a mindset and a belief that is supported by our Leaders that we are empowered to use good judgment and act on behalf of the Company.  The fact that many of our Employees understand this comforts me and makes me appreciate how special we are as a Company.