Yesterday was one of those long, frustrating days of business travel. I was flying from Tulsa to Houston. The trip was broken down into two short flights: Tulsa to Dallas, Dallas to Houston. Easy peasy, right?
Well, all except for the weather. At absolutely not fault of the airline, we ended up spending hours sitting on the plane, just waiting for weather to clear. The crew aboard our jet did a great job of keeping passengers comfortable. Particularly on the second leg of my journey. It should have been a quick one hour jaunt. Instead, we were their guests for almost five hours.
The biggest difference was with how bad news was communicated. Our Southwest Airlines pilot himself came out of the cabin, stood where everyone could see him, and gave us regular updates on the situation. He was honest about the situation. He was direct about delivering bad news. That pilot was a true leader.
His leadership filtered down through the rest of his crew, and ultimately made passengers on his aircraft, happy Customers. Happy despite long delays. Happy despite high temperatures in the cabin. Happy, even though we didn’t get our signature Southwest peanuts.
After landing, the process of picking up my rental car was pretty quick, and I finally arrived at my hotel at around 7:30. I was tired from my day, but I really wanted to attend a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. I made it there a few minutes after it had started. Readings were still being read as I took my seat.
The meeting chair read a passage on sponsorship from The Basic Text. Then she shared openly and honestly about her need to find a sponsor with whom she could be honest. Tears filled her eyes as she shared about her disappointment with the relationship with her previous sponsor. She needed to hear the experience, strength, and hope others had to share on the topic of sponsorship.
As others in the room shared, one-by-one, stories of the importance of sponsorship were shared. There were some funny stories shared. There were also some emotional stories shared. By the end of the meeting, I knew my decision to attend had been a good one. I was ready for my day to end, and it had been a good day.
Both on my flight and at last night’s meeting, honesty combined with leadership made the difference. The pilot set the tone for our trip from Dallas to Houston. His leadership was reassuring and contagious.
The same can be said about last night’s meeting. The chair was engaged, honest and passionate. Her honesty and leadership helped create an environment in which others felt safe sharing. Then, in order, each person who shared after her was able to follow in honest sharing of their experience, strength, and hope.
Have a remarkable day!