Great Leaders Make a Difference
October 20, 2017

I was recently in Toronto for a family visit, and on the way home I experienced a very cool leadership moment on my WestJet flight.

The flight attendant had just finished the Safety Presentation, then another person got on the microphone and introduced himself as Harry Taylor the CFO of WestJet. That got my attention! It is not typical for the CFO of a company to be on the front lines directly interacting with clients.

His comments went something like this,

“As a member of the executive team of WestJet, I would like to thank-you personally for choosing to fly with us at WestJet. I know that you have options and we really appreciate your choice to fly with us. I am seated in 11F if you would like to come by and say hello and give me any feedback about your experiences of flying with WestJet. I will also be working with the flight attendants to serve you on today’s flight, so please forgive me if I spill anything on you as I am a rookie, but the team on your flight today are true professionals, so trust me you are in good hands for this flight. Enjoy your flight!”

This was a great leadership moment. Having a member of the C-Suite from WestJet introduce himself, thank everyone on the flight for choosing to fly with WestJet, and then taking an active role in the front-line work activities of serving told me a lot about the culture and listening strategy at WestJet.


Here is what I experienced about the WestJet Culture:

Accountability to your colleagues and your clients for delivering an “Extraordinary Service Experience” to them.

Responsibility for seeking client feedback to continue to improve the “Client Experience”.

Deep Listening by seeking feedback from others about how you are supporting them.

Intentional about designing a listening strategy and generative conversations (action-oriented language) with clients by creating opportunities to be on the front lines.

Courageous by stepping into “The Unknown” to engage in possibility conversations with your clients for ideas to improve on the “Client Experience”.

Another great example of the WestJet Culture is shown in their “Christmas Miracle Video”. This was an extraordinary client experience!


Your Leadership Challenge:

How can you create an Extraordinary Client Experience in your organization?

What front line conversations can you put yourself into?

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