The Colleen C. Barrett Institute for Cultural Excellence & Customer Service

Southwest online rgb rev

Receive updates and the latest resources from the CCB Institute!

jan 24 hero

Being Well: Prioritizing Heart and Home in 2024

When drafting a January newsletter, it’s easy to default to common “New Year” themes, such as setting goals and making resolutions. For me, however, the beginning of the year is a much-needed time to reset and reorganize–to make sure my health, my family, and my Team are ready to take on the coming year. Perhaps this rings true for you? Before we can tackle what’s ahead of us, we must take care of our own “house” and reinforce the foundation we need to support us as we work for what we hope to achieve.

At Southwest, we often talk about having a “Founder’s Mentality.” We regularly implore each other to consider: if we were starting the Company all over again, what would it look like, and what are the most crucial things we would do? What are our bedrock values, and do we have structure in place to advance those values? Equally important, are there things we’re currently doing that don’t align with who we want to be as an organization? This simple exercise is surprisingly effective when we need to reset or refocus on things that genuinely matter. This is true for personal wellness, how we care for our families, the kind of teammate we are at work, and even how we engage with the world around us.

As the Team entrusted to promote and protect Southwest’s beloved Culture through programs and events, our role is unique and highly visible. That’s why it’s especially important for me to ensure that all of us are prepared to thrive in the coming year. For our Team, this includes connecting with our Culture Ambassadors and every self-professed Culture champion across the Southwest system and ensuring they are aligned and equipped with what they need. For you, it might look like taking stock of priorities with your direct reports or vision-casting a new future with your department.

To do well, we must first be well, and that means taking inventory of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to be. Giving Employees the freedom to express themselves, own their challenges, and prioritize their goals promotes a tremendous sense of worth individually and collectively. It can strengthen trust and generate renewed excitement and emotional balance when it comes to doing the actual work.

Nothing brings these principles to mind quicker than my memories of seeing Colleen (namesake of the CCB Institute!) invest in Southwest’s People firsthand. She knew how to bring us back to what really matters through heartfelt communication, family-oriented initiatives, and timely celebrations—all of which nourished our Culture and contributed to excellent Customer Service and strong performance. That’s why the CCB Institute exists. As a tribute to her legacy, it provides resources and stories that offer insight into her influence at Southwest and also spark ideas for how others may invest in the wellness of their own organizations. And I’ll let you in on a secret. Coming soon—a relaunch of CCBI with a fantastic, refreshed look and improved experience! Stay tuned!

On behalf of my nearly 75,000 fulltime Southwest Cohearts, may you all be well and do well in 2024!

Picture of Megan Lee

Megan Lee

Director Culture and Employee Engagement

View Thought Leaders Recommended Resources

Do you have questions for our Southwest Leaders about what it means to Lead Well? For a limited time, you will have the opportunity to submit your questions for a Southwest Thought Leader to answer in our next Virtual Fireside Chat.

Submit your questions in the box below, and be sure to keep an eye out for an email announcing the opening of registration for the Virtual Fireside Chat!

05302024 colleen thought leader post hero adj
Colleen Barrett

Special Edition: Colleen on Sustaining Strong Performance

Have you ever wondered why Southwest Airlines receives such an incredible amount of media coverage? Obviously, we have a wonderful Public Relations Department making sure our accomplishments and activities don’t go unnoticed, but the mere fact that we are a “successful airline” – two words most people think don’t go together – makes us newsworthy. It also leaves us- and everything we do open to scrutiny.

Read More
april feature article
Chris Johnson

Leading Well: Connecting with People

From the times I engaged with Herb Kelleher (Founder of Southwest Airlines) and Colleen Barrett (CCB Institute namesake!) early in my career, I learned from them the true value of giving your People your time and attention and seeing them for who they are instead of just the positions they fill. To me, that means you have to remember your Teams are made up of unique individuals and never forget the “Golden Rule” when you have the opportunity to connect with someone.

Read More
march newsletter hero
Elizabeth Bryant

Being Well: The ROI of Being Well for Yourself and Others

If you’ve ever flown before—hopefully with Southwest!—you’re likely familiar with the inflight safety announcement to put your oxygen mask on first before attempting to help others in an emergency. Did you know the same guidance can apply to your daily life, whether professional or personal? It’s true. To be able to meaningfully care for others or lead effectively, you must take care of yourself.

Read More
Scroll to Top