Post by David Mead
On a recent flight, as I often do after I board a plane, I was looking out the window as the ground crew was hussling to get the flight ready for take off. I happened to zero in on the guy who was hurling bags onto the conveyor belt, which led to the belly of the plane.
As I looked at him and tried to imagine what his work day must be like, I couldn't help wondering if he would even care if the airline he works for had a Why - a higher cause or purpose meant to inspire employees and customers alike. I mean, it's not a glamorous job, he's out in the weather, rain or shine, there can't be many perks and there's a possibility he'd much rather be doing something else! I was sitting there thinking, would knowing the airline's Why really change the way he felt about his job?
This ate at me a bit because I spend my life preaching the belief that everyone deserves to wake up inspired to go to work and return home fulfilled by the work they do. Suddenly I was worried that this baggage guy was somehow exempt or that it didn't apply to him, simply because he has a job that most people wouldn't say they love or are inspired by.
I voiced my concern on a call with Simon and a couple of other team members to see what they thought. I mean come on, is a baggage handler at the airport really gonna get inspired by the airline's Why? Simon's answer was simple and powerful.
"Who are we to assume that he can't be inspired?" he said.
That doesn't mean he will be, but it's not our place to make that call. This is a lesson I will always keep with me. Let's not aim to inspire only those who we think will be inspired, or who have job titles we think have the possibility for inspiration. Rather, let's talk about what we believe to everyone and give everyone the opportunity to be inspired and become a part of something that matters. Because really, no matter what we do, we all want to feel like we're contributing to something. And that something may just look a little different to me than it does to you.