Last week I was on a United Airlines flight to visit family in Colorado. As I was settling in, the usual voice started giving instructions. But then I heard this: “Hi, I’m your captain. I always like to greet the passengers and welcome them to the flight.” He told us about his background, his co-pilot’s background and the fact that they were friends who enjoyed flying together. He told us that the weather was choppy over Denver and they were taking an alternate route to avoid the worst turbulence.
He went on for at least 5 minutes, and people actually applauded at the end.
Afterwards, several passengers commented that they had never been on a flight before where the pilot personally welcomed people and told us what to expect. That pilot was visibly demonstrating United’s commitment to good customer service and safe travel.
It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort for leaders to show commitment to an organization’s mission and vision. And the effects can be powerful. When have you seen this in action? What could you do?
Dee Anne Bonebright