Posts Tagged ‘Southwest Airlines’

In 100 Words: Difference Between Purpose & Value Proposition

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 by Troy Schrock

Purpose and value proposition are not the same thing.  Purpose is primarily an internal message that aligns employees; value proposition is an external message that tells customers how you will meet their needs.

Customers may admire your purpose, but they buy your value proposition based on how it meets their needs.  For example, I personally admire Southwest Airlines as an organization, but I typically fly with another airline that better meets my particular business travel needs (even though I have far less admiration for their company).

Let your purpose drive you, but let your customers’ needs drive your value proposition.

“A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them.  We chose a different path.  Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.”  (Steve Jobs)

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Beware! Servant Leadership Does Not a Weak Leader Make.

Monday, January 23rd, 2012 by Ellen Bryson

Recently, I was involved in discussions about a leader’s ability to perform his job effectively. He has difficulty creating the vision, fighting for what he believes is right, and managing and developing his staff. Someone in the group spoke up and said they viewed him as a servant leader. Sadly, this view implies that servant leaders are weak. The comment was really made because the leader is always trying to please everyone above all else.

Regardless of your leadership style, a leader must be able to influence others toward accomplishing a goal and inspire them to follow. You cannot be a leader if no one will follow you. Some people are natural born leaders; others learn to become leaders by study, practice, reflecting and learning from others.

Servant leaders practice the following:

  • Model the way
  • Assume followers to be partners
  • Develop and empower others
  • Use their heart as well as their head in decision making
  • Self starters
  • Set high goals; create action plans; execute for results
  • Make the hard decision; when things go wrong they take the blame; when things go right they give others credit
  • Not interested in having their own way, but finding the right way
  • Humble spirits

Servant leadership is widely practiced in the 21st century. It is about creating an environment that gets the best out of people. Southwest Airlines is a great example of a company that practices servant leadership; check out Gary’s Greeting (Southwest CEO Gary Kelly) and see it in action.

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The Difference Between Purpose and Value Proposition

Friday, June 24th, 2011 by Troy Schrock

I sometimes see businesses treating purpose and value proposition as if they are the same thing.  They’re not.  The purpose (or cause) is primarily useful as an internal message – the idealism that attracts, rallies, and holds together the troops.  The value proposition is the external message that tells the customers how you will meet their needs. 

Organizations can become so passionate about their purpose that they begin telling customers what they need rather than listening to what they need.  Even when customers admire your cause, they generally don’t buy your cause; they buy the value you provide.  They measure this value based on you solve their needs.  For example, I personally admire Southwest Airlines as an organization – their business model, their cause, their organization, and their success.  However, I rarely fly Southwest Airlines.  As a frequent business flyer, schedule (flight times and travel time) are more important to me than price.  Since I typically fly out of a hub for another major airline, I have direct access to most destinations and many flight time options on that airline.  I have far less admiration for the airline I fly, but they better meet my needs than Southwest.  If my needs ever change in a way that aligns with Southwest’s value proposition, I will gladly fly with them more often. 

Sometimes, customers who buy your value proposition will also identify with your purpose.  That’s great when it happens, but it is not a given.  Therefore, you must carefully monitor the balance between your purpose and your value proposition.

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