Baggage Handlers and Ground Crew… Oorah!

Mitch Schneider
June 13, 2020

I start each morning with Seth Godin’s blog. He hasn’t missed a day in more than a decade and neither have I. I’m not sure if I’m as committed as I am because my views are so close to his. Or, because I’ve discovered that his views are that close to mine. Either way, we agree far more often than we disagree and this morning was no different.

Today’s post was focused on retired Marine Corps General, Charles C. Krulak. Krulak is a combat decorated veteran and former Commandant of the Marine Corps. He is credited with Krulak’s Law of Leadership, which suggests that success on the battlefield is in the hands of ‘strategic corporals,’ and not the generals back at home.

In other words, success is determined by the people at the lowest end of the earning curve or organization chart.

That simple realization took me on a journey across time and space. I was suddenly transported to the window seat on a trip home from a Mid-West speaking engagement. Seated alongside an American Airlines captain commuting from Chicago to L.A on his way to pick up a Trans-Pacific flight. The captain was pleasant and the conversation interesting until we found ourselves parked in the jetway just in front of our arrival gate waiting for the ground crew and baggage handlers to show up.

Moments of Truth

As passengers started to shift uncomfortably in their seats, the captain turned, shook his head, and casually remarked, “The success or failure of this entire company is in the hands of its lowest-paid employees!”

He was right!

Front-line workers control the Moments of Truth. They determine what someone is likely to experience every time there is an interaction and that individual has an opportunity to evaluate the quality of service rendered. Something to think about regardless of which side of the service counter you find yourself on.

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