It is the mother of all Hallmark holidays, and it’s just around the corner. Care to take a guess? You’re right--it’s Mother’s Day! Let me ask you a question or two about Mom. Why does our society get so spun up about this marketing mogul of a day? Don’t our Moms know how special they are to us each and every day? Do we really need a day to celebrate and acknowledge them? Selfishly as a mom, I say yes we do! Not to side with all those retailers who make a lot of money convincing us we are terrible if we forget to remember our Mother, but when else would we make time to pause and reflect about good ol’ Mom? Aside from all the “stuff” she does for us on a day-to-day basis, she helped mold us, didn’t she? That certainly deserves a little recognition! My Mom helped instill in me the drive to work hard, persevere, be creative (you never know what solution you might come up with to solve a problem), and to always do my best. In fact, every now and again she would recite to me Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” This quote stays with me to this day. It’s a good one, don’t you think? As a Project Leader at the University for People, I know that the values my Mother instill ed in me early on, help me function in my day-to-day duties at Southwest. How so, you might ask? Allow me to explain. It just so happens that those same characteristics I mentioned earlier, the values of work hard, perseverance, creativity/innovation, and the desire to be the best, are similar to our core competencies at Southwest--something Southwest refers to as “Warrior Spirit.” So, what the heck is a core competency and what’s this about a Nirvana song? Well, if you haven’t ever heard of a core competency, let me give you the definition straight from Wikipedia. A core competency is “something that a firm can do well and that meets the following three conditions: It provides consumer benefits It is not easy for competitors to imitate It can be leveraged widely to many products and markets A core competency can take various forms, including technical/subject matter know how, a reliable process, and/or close relationships with customers and suppliers. It may also include product development or culture, such as employee dedication.” Easy, right? Not necessarily. In fact, defining your core competencies as a Company can be challenging. And how does that relate to a Warrior Spirit (not to be confused with Teen Spirit)? A “Warrior” by Southwest standards is someone who works hard, desires to be the best, is courageous, displays a sense of urgency, perseveres, and is innovative. So, someone who embodies these characteristics would be in alignment with Southwest’s “Warrior Spirit” competency. Wait a minute! Don’t these characteristics sound eerily familiar? Moms are some of the hardest working people around…I think you would agree when I say that raising kids is not an easy job. Moms are certainly courageous. As any parent knows, you’ve had the tough job of opting for the harder right over the easier wrong in terms of discipline. Moms are the originals when it comes to displaying a sense of urgency. Who doesn’t remember their mom’s lecture to not procrastinate when mentioning at the dinner table that your project was due tomorrow? Moms know how to persevere. She raised you didn’t she? Just joshing! Moms are like MacGyver and must innovate to survive. Who needs a fancy new toy when you’ve got a pot, some duck tape, a piece of cardboard, and this shiny spoon? By golly, I think we’ve got it! Moms are Warriors! Now, that’s a rally cry every child, brother, sister, husband, and significant other can get behind. So this Mother’s Day get out there and celebrate Moms (I mean Warriors) everywhere. She deserves it! p.s. In these challenging economic times, don’t feel you have to submit to the mogul-making Mother’s Day multi-millionaires. Small gestures of kindness will always go a long way with Moms. Here is a link to a certificate to help you celebrate Mom with a chore around the house, a free foot rub, or whatever you’d like to offer Mom on the cheap (but very much on the sweet). I know I’m going the less expensive route this year. You’re reading my gift – love you, Mom!
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