I’m infinitely fascinated in specified points and completely disinterested in others, which features everything mechanical you may locate minor center ground with me.
When I place my vital into the ignition of my motor vehicle, a little something transpires to make it begin that I never have to realize. I really like viewing excellent Tv packages, but I will not care how the picture receives into my Tv. Having said that, if you clearly show me a purchaser service champion, I’m all more than it. I am totally curious about persons who make a change.
This brings me to Captain Dennis J. Flanagan of United Airways. This is what transpired that piqued my interest about this gentleman of character.
My wife and I were traveling to Arizona to spend a 7 days in Sedona. Our Denver-certain flight was to depart from Baltimore on United Airways. About 30 minutes just before our scheduled departure, we sat at the gate ready to board when the doorway to the Jetway opened. The United captain emerged, strode to the ticket counter, and grabbed the microphone. Based on my sizeable flying practical experience, a assortment of feasible eventualities bombarded my mind – none of them great!
Then this captain started talking. “Superior early morning, females and gentlemen. I am your captain, Denny Flanagan.” He went on to explain the weather we anticipated and our route. Then he mentioned, “We are traveling a Boeing 757 this early morning. If you have any concerns for the duration of our flight about the plane or flight, I will be pleased to solution them. Our aircraft this early morning is in wonderful condition.” A very long pause ensued, then, “And I am in excellent condition.” The passengers chuckled. “By the way,” he continued, “this is my initially flight.” Silence… “These days!” he extra with a grin.
Wonderful. He does schtick! He’s a pilot I can relate to.
Amongst the waiting around passengers, I could see their moods speedily transform like a wave. They hadn’t beforehand appeared anxious or anxious, just indifferent or fatigued. Soon after that announcement, they seemed jovial and keen to board.
We wondered what would take place subsequent. Jimmy Buffet with a parrot? A conga line?
As we commenced boarding, Captain Flanagan stood at the door to the airplane handing out cards with a 757 pictured on just one aspect, and a description of the plane on the other. Greeting him, I pointed out I was an govt coach and consultant who printed a month-to-month publication. I mentioned I’d like to produce one thing about his congeniality and gave him my business enterprise card. He replied that he’d love to discuss at some issue.
An hour into our flight, Anne, the purser, spoke about the intercom stating, “Good morning, females and gentlemen. We here at United think vacation ought to be pleasurable. So Captain Flanagan is raffling off discounted tickets on United.”
Wait a moment, now we’re acquiring a raffle? What is actually up coming? Karaoke?
She continued, “On your cocktail napkin, make sure you compose down the rationale you selected United for your air vacation. I am going to then attract 4 napkins and study the responses. People folks will every get a coupon worth a discount on a future United flight.”
The raffle concluded, and I did not win. But a several minutes later on, Anne came down the aisle with 1 of Captain Flanagan’s business cards. On the back was this note: “Mr. Golletz, You are a valued purchaser and your organization is enormously appreciated. Make sure you allow me know how we can exceed your expectations. Also, could you wait for me right after the flight?” Signed, “Capt. Denny.”
I could not satisfy him because of a tight relationship in Denver, so I questioned Anne to notify him I’d get in touch with him after my Sedona family vacation, indicating I was keen to know far more about him. Ahead of having my reaction to Denny in the cockpit, she told me what she realized about this unconventional and amazing guy:
- He institutes the raffle on every single flight and posts the cocktail serviette responses the place United staffers can read them.
- He has a big selection of copies of a espresso desk-sized e book on United’s history and provides them to United associates who react to shoppers in remarkable techniques.
- He handwrites personal thank you notes on the back again of his business enterprise playing cards to each initially-course passenger on each a person of his flights.
- He provides his individual credit card to unaccompanied minors on his flights so they can use the in-flight cellular phone to call property.
- One particular of Denny’s co-pilots, Buck Wyndham (how’s that for a pilot’s identify?), was so amazed that he asked Denny if he could document him for various days following the brass okayed the thought. The video recording was subsequently utilized for instruction at the corporation.
When I obtained household from that trip, I spoke to Denny and a number of people shut to him. My most important query was, “What produced this devotion to shoppers?” Denny claimed, “I do it since it truly is my work.” Not a guy inclined to self-congratulatory actions. His spouse, Terri, instructed me he has a profound perception of responsibility and loyalty that endures in spite of adverse conditions. His affiliate Bud Potts, another United pilot, couldn’t explain this high-quality in Denny. He expressed his admiration for both equally who Denny is and what he does.
Continue to keep On Mastering from Captain Denny
What have I discovered (or reaffirmed) from my practical experience with Captain Denny? Listed here are a few conclusions:
1. For decades, United Airlines has absent by way of lots of perfectly-documented difficulties. Providing a bright location amid the fray is a leader who demonstrates resilience, persistence, tenacity, a appreciate of persons, loyalty, and perseverance. In which he got it just isn’t as crucial as that he has it. Character counts!
2. People today adhere to illustrations rather than orders. Often, Denny preaches the word of buyer assistance to other United associates. They hear to him due to the fact his actions mirror his terms. He is constant and authentic. He reaffirms what he says with what he does.
3. When faced with challenging situations and conditions, we have options. We can concentration on the fantastic with a good attitude or whine about the way items are and harbor resentment. You’ve got possibly heard it before and I am going to say it once more: Resentment is tantamount to ingesting poison and expecting someone else to die. I know people today at United who want the business to are unsuccessful because of deep-seated animosity and their want to verify them selves suitable. At the chance of showing simplistic, I say, “Come across a little something else to do with your lifetime!”
When times get difficult, folks toss in the towel and go away out of aggravation. To people at United and other corporations who have confronted similar troubles and gotten out, I say, “In some cases leaving is the ideal solution – for each the organization and the particular person. Much better to go away than seethe.”
To persons anywhere who make a decision to plant their ft and work for successful transform – Bravo! Find other like-minded men and women to supply you with the bravery to go on the fight. Incubate concepts initiate independent motion take challenges create the organization you want.
To everybody, but most specially the executive professionals of United, what can you learn from this story and how can you leverage that lesson? Will you have the braveness and smarts to place your bets on folks like Denny Flanagan?
P.S. I 1st wrote about Denny in my every month e-newsletter in 2005. Considering the fact that then, other individuals have also observed his incredible qualities. For instance, he has appeared on Tv set network shows “This Early morning” and “Good Morning The united states” and has been featured in a page-a single story in the Wall Road Journal. In an business that desperately requirements heroes, Denny joins pilot Sully Sullenberger (of “place the plane down in the Hudson River” fame) as a guy really worth emulating. I’m happy that Denny and I have develop into excellent pals. When he’s in D.C. or Baltimore, we even now have evening meal with each other. (Come to feel of it, Denny, you owe me a meal.)
Copyright 2010 Rand Golletz. All rights reserved.