Workplace blogs
Workplace blogs

Fun-Loving Attitude Helps Airlines Soar

Southwest Airlines (SWA), one of the most successful airlines in the world, doesn’t have the usual list of corporate values. Rather, SWA embraces a set of principles listed under three broad umbrella categories.

One of those broad categories is their Fun-Luving Attitude. (Luving spelled that way, incidentally, because the stock symbol for Southwest Airlines is LUV.)

But Southwest Airlines doesn’t just leave it at that. They define what it means to embrace a fun attitude at work: Have Fun; Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously; Maintain Perspective; Celebrate Successes; Enjoy Your Work; Be a Passionate Team Player.

One could argue that concepts such as “have fun” and “be a passionate team player” are still open to a lot of personal interpretation, but at least SWA has made an attempt to try and explain what they mean by a Fun-Luving Attitude. And more importantly, they do what successful organizations do: they use their guiding principles as commitments to one another. Which means SWA hires, trains, and coaches employees based on their guiding principles.

And in case anyone thinks it’s all just about the fun at SWA, the other two categories of principles outline their expectations of phenomenal service and the need to work extremely hard.  SWA simply embraces the healthy perspective that it’s not only possible, but necessary to embrace a spirit of fun while you work hard.  At SWA, it’s not a choice between fun OR work, but a conscious choice for fun AND work.

Michael Kerr, www.HumoratWork.  For more ideas, inspiration and fun, sign up for Mike Kerr’s free weekly Humor at Work e-zine on the left side of this page or by visiting


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