Tuesday, July 04, 2006

How Southwest Remembers People

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For those of you in the United States, Happy Fourth of July! If you're an international subscriber, please celebrate with us in spirit!

The last part of the HEAR Principle is something Colleen Barrett, president of Southwest, is famous for. According to the book NUTS! by Kevin and Jackie Freiberg, Colleen is fanatical about remembering those who helped make it possible for Southwest to enjoy stupendous success.

She does this by sending birthday cards to all the members of the Texas legislature. Through a special network in place at Southwest, Colleen is notified of noteworthy circumstances affecting one or many of the thousands of employees upon which a personalized note or gift is sent, often surprising the receipient.

On top of that, Southwest sends 75,000 greeting cards a year to customers, employees and friends to recognize their birthdays, anniversaries, losses, new babies and other significant events. Imagine that!

Do you think sending 75,000 cards a year is overkill? I don't.

Southwest knows something you and I already know through the application of the HEAR Principle. When we remember those who helped us along the way, not only are we giving them recognition for what they did but we are also reminding ourselves that we are not alone. That we cannot exist in a vacuum. Successful people and organizations cannot slosh their way through adversity without some kind of assistance. It's impossible!

When people are recognized by you or your company, it makes them want to be there for you again becuase it was brought to their attention that they really do matter. Even if they thought they didn't "do anything much" to help you - simply by remembering and recognizing them, you are bringing the light of recognition into their lives. You'll recall a post I wrote in so many words how people "crave recognition." It's so true.

They feel their efforts in helping you was worth their time and as a result, feel inspired to lift you to even greater heights all becuase you chose to take a few minutes of your time to remember them in some way form or shape.

There you have it. If Southwest can unknowingly apply each and every part of the HEAR Principle, so can you. Why not give it a try?

In the very near future, I will be posting a "call for stories" from you out there to share with me your experiences in overcoming adversity. Be on the lookout for it!

Food for thought: Is there anyone you'd like to remember for helping you through major turning points in your life? Give it some thought - you'd be surprised at the number of names that pop up!
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