Southwest Passenger Unveils the Most Important Part of Company Culture

Southwest Airlines has modeled what a great organizational culture looks like for decades. One of the pillars of their culture success is values. Values are simply, principles and standards of behavior.

Former Starbucks executive Howard Behar told me on the Follow My Lead Podcast, “values are developed by what you reward, recognize, and talk about.”

Humor, or as Southwest calls it their “fun-LUVing attitude,” has always been a value they reward, recognize, and talk about.

A Southwest Airport gate in New Orleans provided the perfect setting to show their core values lived out to perfection. When a Southwest employee required everyone who asked a question to sing, one fearless customer took them up on it.

While the video has gone viral because of the brilliant singing performance, there are some bigger lessons at play around company values:

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