Is your team in synch?

United2 I promise, this is the last blog post squeezed out of the recent DC trip.  I can't help it…it was a fruitful couple of days.

I'm in O'Hare, waiting to board the flight to DC.  It's about 5 minutes before boarding and the first officer (or co-captain — whichever is correct) came up from the jetway.  He spoke to the gate agent and she handed him the mic. 

Speaking very clearly and with great enthusiasm, he introduced himself, told us who our Captain was going to be and that they were all very excited about welcoming us on board flight XYZ.  It was their pleasure to get us safely and comfortably to DC. 

With that, he handed the mic back and headed down the jetway.  He was genuine, having fun and everyone seemed to perk up a bit at his welcome.

I was impressed.

When we boarded the plane, the flight attendants didn't just keep repeating the same old "welcome on board" to each passenger.  They went out of their way to have mini conversations or compliment someone's jewelry or crack a joke.  I was one of the first on board, so I sat and watched them connect with just about every person who stepped on board.

Again, I was impressed.

When we were about 30 minutes from touching down in DC, the flight attendant came by and handed me a business card. (As she did with all the others) I looked…and it was the Captain's business card.  He had hand-written me a note that said "Thank you for flying on United!  How can we earn more of your business?"  On the flip side of his card were his direct dial office phone number and his e-mail address.  Holy cow!

Again, I was impressed.

Any one of these gestures would have caught my attention.  And each one, independent of the others, would have made me feel valued as a customer and reinforced my loyalty to United.  But look at the incredible impact this Captain and his entire crew had on the passengers of that flight by having the entire team focus on a single goal. 

I can't imagine a single passenger got off that flight without feeling like the crew truly appreciated their business and was happy to have them on board. 

In an age where the airlines are all fighting to survive, I would want to have Captain John McFadden and his crew flying for me!  Wouldn't you?

How could your team be like Capt McFadden's?  What would it take for you to get them all focused on the same goal and working in concert like they did?

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