The late Joe O’Malia  often told me to “do the right thing…with everybody…every time.” It’s not always easy.

One of the books on my Suggested Reading List is called DO THE RIGHT THING. It’s by the second CEO of Southwest Airlines. Ever wonder why it’s more pleasant to fly Southwest or why they still don’t charge for luggage? Here’s part of the reason.

Remember the week after 09/11 when all the airlines were “cutting routes and jobs?” All except Southwest, whose CEO was on TV saying just the opposite: “We’re NOT cutting routes. We’re NOT cutting jobs.” He was talking to you and me, sure. More importantly, he was talking to SOUTHWEST EMPLOYEES!

What you didn’t know is that Southwest was scheduled to make a contribution to the 401 K on about 09/14. Not knowing when they’d be allowed to get back into business, they made that contribution. They DID THE RIGHT THING. And in cities all over America, Southwest crews were taking stranded passengers to dinner or bowling or to a movie.

That’s doing the right thing. And companies that do will be rewarded! Those that don’t will be treated by their employees and customers accordingly.