Core Purpose: Southwest Airlines

Doug Wick’s looks into purpose on his blog.

Southwest Airlines logoThe reason Southwest Airlines exists is democratize air travel in America. Southwest believes that flying on airplanes shouldn’t be reserved for the wealthy and the people should be able to attend a family reunion, go on vacation, or do business with clients in another city without sacrificing financial security.

That’s why the airline was started. Does it serve customers? Sure. Do they enjoy aviation? Yeah. But those are not the fundamental reasons that Southwest is in business. Its leaders have a larger cause associated with that service, and that cause informs every decision they make. For instance they are committed to low prices. To violate that commitment would be to violate their purposes because democratizing travel can’t happen if large numbers of customers are priced out of the market.

Have any idea what the core purpose is of any of the other airlines? Nope, me neither. We don’t know because they either don’t have one behind “maximize shareholder value” or the one that have is an empty slogan in a binder somewhere, not alive in the organization.

What do you stand for?


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