Do Values Matter?

There is a great story about Herb Kelleher at Southwest Airlines where “Fun” is one of the primary values.  Apparently a customer didn’t like that a flight attendant was having fun with the safety talk at the beginning of a flight (something about bringing around fresh towels and cocktails in the event of a water landing.)  That customer wrote a letter of complaint to Mr. Kelleher.  Rather than responding with apologies or airline credits, he responded with just four words:  “We will miss you.”

Values do matter.  They encourage the right behaviors and reflect the “DNA” of an organization. Southwest’s CEO stuck with the core value of Fun — would you do the same?

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