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What does Southwest Airlines Give Me The Freedom to do? Jeff Lamb

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There isn't one "Freedom" that stands out to me.  Southwest's Culture is like an entire 'constitution' of Freedoms.  SWA has given me the Freedom to serve our community through several Share the Spirit events like playing baseball with special needs kids from The Miracle League of Arlington.  SWA has given me the Freedom to put others first and teach Servant Leadership.  SWA has given me the Freedom to make mistakes and learn from them.  SWA has given me the Freedom to really get to know and care about the People I work with on a regular basis.  SWA has given me the Freedom to have another Family that LUVs and protects each other.  To sum it up I'll quote my daughter a few weeks after she had quit playing competitive soccer.  Her former team had just moved up in the polls to hold the #1 ranking in the nation for their age group. Upon seeing the newest rankings her older sister asked her, "Does that (#1 ranking) make you want to rejoin the team?" To which, my daughter replied, "Heavens no, now that I've tasted Freedom...I could never go back!"  Now that I've tasted Freedom at SWA for two and a half years....I could never go back.  
10 Comments
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Jeff, What a great post! Your comments about serving others seem very appropriate around Independence Day, because one of the things that makes this country great is that so many people are willing to reach out a hand to others in need. Despite what some media pundits may claim, for most Americans, it isn't "all about me". I remember pondering a quote that we studied in one of my classes in college. In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, Ã
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Who is Alexis of Tacobelle? Sorry can't help it. Off to the timeout corner, Ding! boy Joe
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Kim - Thanks for your response and insight. We are so fortunate to work for a Company that puts People first! Jeff
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Jeff - The most impressive thing you said about Southwest is 'the Freedom to make mistakes & learn from them"! Most places people work, they are fussed at, reprimanded, penalized, and embarrassed about their mistakes. To the point that it's not exactly the environment to encourage someone to come forward comfortably about their mistakes. To hear of a company that acknowledges that everyone makes mistakes and to try to learn from them rather than punishing for them is WONDERFUL!! YEA Southwest - the only airline I fly!
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Melissa - First, thank you for flying SWA. It is because of you that I can enjoy the "Freedoms" mentioned in my blog. When I was taking a typing class in high school (I guess that dates me) I always made more mistakes when the Teacher was over my shoulder, waiting for me to mess up. Having the Freedom to be human, i.e. make mistakes, increases performance, reduces stress, and generally encourages People to be more open to learning. All good things. I do wish everyone could "taste" that Freedom. Jeff
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Jeff, If it dates you, then it dates me, too. At my father's encouraging (insistence), I also signed up for typing in high school. I was the only male student in a class of forty people using MANUAL typewriters. (I've really dated myself now) A few years later in college, guess who was the only one in my guy's dorm of 430 residents who COULD type? The sound of me banging out my own papers in my room brought curious fellas who eagerly paid $1.00 a page to have their papers typed, too! You can see that I was a Business major, because I was exercising that Freedom to make money. The same lesson must've rubbed off on a gentleman by the name of Kelly who graduated a year ahead of me. Of course, the folks around HDQ knew him by the name of Captain Jack Sparrow back at Halloween... Kim Still Typing After All These Years 🙂
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I fly Southwest more and more each month because you are strating to hit my travels areas and travel times. During my travels each week I have to send in a safety item that I have observed during that week of travel. It has been 3 weeks now that Southwest has been in this report of mine so I thought it might be a great time to pass this on to you to see if you understand my concerns. I travel out of Florida and into other Florida cities and I believe that more famlies travel these same routes with many small children. Also for what ever reason Southwest has a lot more folks that use wheel chairs than other airlines. The combination of the wheel chairs staged in the jetway and the many car seats and strollers I have reported that this is a major saftey issues waiting to happen. On my last flight there so many people waiting for strollers, wheel chairs staged, strollers and car seats you could hardly walk up the Jetway. If there was a need to get everyone off the plane fast then this would become a diaster and panic would set in fast. All the other airlines that I travel I do not see wheel chairs staged along one side of the Jetway as you do. I see them outside in the seating area waiting to go down when all the people are off the plane. I strongly feel this a major safety issue that I hope you take serious. Find a safe way to keep the Jetway clear so you can walk easily either way as needed. Thanks for listening and I will look for you improvements soon. Frank Renfro
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Mr. Renfro -- Thanks very much for bringing your observations to our attention. The "jetway crowding" you describe can be a concern. We must always keep a path of sufficient width available to accommodate a Safe and orderly evacuation in the event the need arises. We also must comply with Department of Transportation regulations which do not allow us to wait for all other People to deplane before assisting Customers requiring wheelchair assistance as you suggest is done by other airlines. And, of course, families with small children are often among the most anxious to deplane. While there are many factors involved, I want to assure you that we're taking your advice to heart and acting upon it. We're going to get together with our Location Management -- not just in Florida destinations, but throughout our System -- to reinforce that wheelchairs and strollers be staged in such a way that they do not encroach upon that clearance or impede the deplaning process. We sincerely thank you for your interest and suggestion. Ensuring the personal Safety of each Southwest Airlines Customer and Employee is our #1 priority, and we can't have too many "eyes" assisting us in that priority. Barry Brown V.P., Safety, Security & Environmental Services Southwest Airlines Co barry.brown@wnco.com
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Owning up to mistakes is what makes a person credible, and learning from those mistakes inevitable. I work in a large corporation that does not foster this type of communication, and believe me, they'd be so much better off if they did! Loyal customer and job candidate, Nicole
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Nicole- even in large organizations there are People willing to admit mistakes...keep the faith! Jeff