I flew from Newark to Houston today on Southwest Airlines and since the battery on my computer did not last the whole flight I had a few minutes to think about today’s post and it dawned on me that Southwest and THPL have a lot in common.  If you have not had the pleasure of flying on Southwest you really should, they just do everything a little better.  From their quirky boarding process to their cabin service to charging half what their competitors do for internet access they just get it right.  And in the years that I have flown them I have had the opportunity to read more and more about what they do and why they are so good, and, consistently better than the competition (remember , they all use the same equipment, airports, support systems and destinations) – so how do you differentiate when the business has “commodity” written all over it?

For the THPL journeyman you know the answer – it is not that you do one thing right – it is that you do all things right.  With THPL – you need to focus on Life, Learning and Fitness – one aspect is not enough.  For Southwest they have ten organizational practices that are focused on alignment, empowerment and accountability – this is not just better than any other airline, it matches up with the best companies on the planet.  Additionally, as you would expect they emphasize shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect and finally they have sound and frequent communications focused on the timely resolution of problems and issues. 

Which brings me to THPL and how we choose to live and implement the key attributes and elements of high performance.  As the Southwest story tells us, success requires complete alignment on the plan and a level of focus and execution that most are not willing to take on.  It is not exactly “hard” it just involves making choices.  And following through – the one scary part of getting better is that you raise the bar in expectations – but that for THPL it is very good and we do notice an appreciate those who do better work than many of us have come to experience.  When I get on my Southwest flight tomorrow from Houston to Tampa, I have a level of confidence in my itinerary that I do not have with any other carrier.  All will work out well.  Good to know we have a few role models we can copy and benefit from whenever we want.

Loving life, even after flying on a crowded Southwest airport