Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dignity and Respect

The corporate philosophy of Dignity and Respect did not give rise to the unparalleled success of Continental Airlines in the 1990s because one man espoused and practiced it.  It did so because that one man INSISTED that we all practice it, regardless of where we worked or at what level of the hierarchy.  Of the four cornerstones of the uber-successful "Go Forward Plan", it was the linchpin upon which all the others relied.

Of course, when the Chief Executive interrupts his Christmas holiday to join his colleagues on the frontline, throwing bags on the ramp, thanking customers in the terminal, and acknowledging the contributions made by those whose schedule required holiday work, it set a pretty clear expectation.

Whether or not "dignity and respect" is memorialized as part of the current-day philosophy, should we expect it to yield any less positive result because one man is no longer with us "on the line"?  We who are the beneficiaries of that legacy are duty-bound to perpetuate it.  

I challenge anyone and everyone who has a serious concern about our future together to frame any interaction with a colleague, real or virtual, in the context of dignity and respect.  Fulfillment doesn't come from the outside; not from a boss, a customer or a co-worker.  It comes from the inside; ending every day in the knowledge that you did your part, you did all you could.  

And all that's needed to start down the fulfillment path is intention and commitment.  The rest will take care of itself.

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