Herb Kelleher – Cheap can be cheerful

Herb Kelleher was the co-founder of Southwest Airlines, he died earlier this month. He had many attributes that I admire, not least of which was introducing a culture to the company where Southwest’s employees took themselves lightly but their jobs seriously.

 

Kelleher had a simple philosophy, “A motivated employee treats the customer well. The customer is happy, so they keep coming back. It’s not one of the enduring mysteries of all time; it is just the way it works.”

An article in the FT Michael Skapinker which celebrated Herb, contrasted his outlook with a recent email from a disappointed British Airways passenger. Skapinker concluded with this statement, “few people come to work intending to be unhelpful. If they are horrible, it is usually because their bosses are horrible to them, or they prioritise sticking to the rules, or cutting costs, over keeping customers happy.”

In 1987 Michael O’Leary (of RyanAir) visited Southwest Airlines and Herb Kelleher to learn about the airline industry. Although there were plans for them to meet again, O’Leary never went back to complete his tuition.

Read more about Southwest’s business model here.

 

 

Tea Pillow?

The renaming of what most of us would call a tea bag into a “Hand-Stitched Tea Pillow” smacks of a very long lunch in the marketing department. Nice tea though.

The Monday Morning Quote #518

“Plan for what is difficult while it is easy.

Do what is great while it is small.”

Sun Tzu

Cork Airport Hotel…the personal touch

I usually stay at the airport hotel because I have an early flight to the UK – or further. This time I had an evening meeting in Cork City and have a mid-morning flight today (snow permitting). It was a pleasure to find this card on my bed when I arrived yesterday. Better than chocolates. The team here are great, anyone who has read tales of my travel cockups will know that I sometimes don’t get things “quite” right – they have sorted me out on more than one occasion.

This shows a personal touch – even if it is a system, it’s a nice system.


The Monday Morning Quote #517

“You will remembered, in the long haul, for the quality of your work, not the quantity of your work.

No one evaluates Picasso on the number of paintings he churned out.”

Tom Peters

Mary Oliver RIP

….Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver RIP

From “The Summer Day”

 

Perhaps just remove my head from my own backside long enough to engage….

“As I begin 2019 I wonder how I might introduce to my own clinical space some of the human warmth I felt among those brave, breathless singers. Bring biscuits? Offer a choice of music from my phone?

Or perhaps just remove my head from my own backside long enough to engage meaningfully for a while with each of my patients, before reaching for the reassuring anonymity of my knife.”

Full article here.

Gabriel Weston writing on the joy of singing and how it is helping patients with COPD.

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