Colleen Barrett, past president of Southwest Airlines, was asked about some of the techniques she used to keep morale high at her company. One of the things she shared was how she spent time every day writing personal notes to employees recognizing them for accomplishments, noting milestones achieved, or just saying thank you. After she had shared some of her “secrets” she was asked if she was worried about competitors finding out what she was doing and copying it.
Colleen wasn’t worried. Why? Because she knew that the power of what she was doing wasn’t in the concept—it was in the execution. In Barrett’s case, she knew that most executives wouldn’t take the time to write 4,000 personal notes a year to employees like she did. And that was why she wasn’t worried that they would duplicate the culture.
The idea of writing notes wasn’t the magic. Actually doing it was. What’s waiting in your idea queue? Make the shift from knowing to doing. That’s where the power is.