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Above The Line Dissatisfaction

by The Authors on February 29th, 2012

After decades of emphasis on change management in a world of chaos and volatility, most business leaders and corporate enterprises agree that healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo is a good thing; in fact, it’s something to be encouraged and promoted. Your current perspectives, policies, processes, and practices can become your greatest obstacles to creating or adapting to the future. Which means that healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo should never be confused with Below The Line negativity, disengagement, or untrustworthiness. In truth, a healthy Above The Line dissatisfaction with the status quo is vital to the future viability of your enterprise.

Southwest Airlines built itself on dissatisfaction with the status quo. Unhappy and dissatisfied with the way things were in the airline industry, Rollin King and Herb Kelleher changed the industry with their simple, streamlined notion: “If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly your airline.” Their dissatisfaction worked, creating one of the most consistently admired companies in the world. How do they do it? By always maintaining a healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo and a commitment to constantly introduce pioneering solutions such as: ticketless travel online, self-service check-in kiosks, rapid rewards programs, and using social media to go Nuts About Southwest. Founders King and Kelleher constantly warned employees that the biggest obstacle to the company’s future success was “Ourselves—Complacency … Smugness … Greed … Selfishness.” Current CEO Gary Kelly is working hard to make sure that dissatisfaction with the status quo remains as healthy as ever at Southwest—to maintain the company’s reputation as the most resilient airline in the world.

To learn more about challenging your employees to see and think about things differently, and helping them to develop a healthy Above The Line dissatisfaction with the status quo, join our Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual company experiences and results.

Above The Line, Below The Line, and Accountability Community are registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership Inc.

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