Southwest Airlines Announces Institute for Cultural Excellence & Customer Service

Southwest Airlines has launched an institute to help share its culture of positive customer service and overall company culture. The Colleen C. Barrett Institute for Cultural Excellence & Customer Service (CCB Institute) is an online universe that honors Barrett, a former company president. –By Brian Hurlburt, Founder and Host, Magnifying Excellence Podcast.

“Colleen has always valued Employees like Family, which is the Heart and soul of our Culture today at Southwest,” said Whitney Eichinger, Southwest Airlines Managing Director Culture & Engagement. “The CCB Institute provides a home for the practical application of her core values—living by The Golden Rule with a Servant’s Heart, Warrior Spirit, and a Fun-LUVing Attitude—while sharing stories, memories, and examples of how that ethos shaped Southwest into the airline of today.”

As the company celebrates its 50-year history, the CCB Institute honors Barrett, a Southwest Airlines’ President Emeritus, and establishes a center where individuals and organizations can learn about the tenets of Southwest’s culture, leadership, and hospitality. The CCB Institute provides practical resources to help others learn from her remarkable example, and offers inspiration for individuals and organizations to make long-lasting, positive impacts in our organizations and our world.

From official Southwest Airlines information:

It’s no secret that much of the success of Southwest centers on its People-first Culture. A concept often admired around the world, but rarely replicated. Colleen is a driving force and credited for developing Southwest’s Legendary Customer Service, which became the gold standard not only for airlines but also for many customer-facing companies. She was famous for writing letters back to Customers and for sending heartfelt notes to Employees when she saw something that impressed her.

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Prior to joining Southwest in 1978, Colleen worked for several years as an Executive Assistant to Southwest Founder, Herb Kelleher, at his law firm. Colleen oversaw management, leadership, and budget responsibilities for a variety of areas/groups. She was a member of the airline’s Executive Planning Committee, Southwest’s Executive Planning Committee, and chaired numerous special Teams, task forces, and committees relating to Internal and External Southwest Customers. Colleen also became the first woman president in the airline industry when she assumed the role in 2001. Her influence on the unique Culture of Southwest since the very beginning is indelible, and she is beloved by the Southwest Family.