Tom Hinton's Blog

United Airlines Must Change Its Culture of Abuse

United Airlines Must Change Its Culture of Abuse If It Wants to Fly High Again By Tom Hinton   Consumers should be aghast with United Airlines’ culture of abuse. What United Airlines did when it physically ejected Dr. David Dao of Elizabethtown, Kentucky from UAL Flight 3411 was demeaning, shameful and abusive to all consumers. Dr. Dao was a booked and paying customer. He had properly boarded UAL Flight 3411, operated by Republic Airlines, from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to Louisville along with other passengers. But, when United needed four seats to fly crew members to Louisville to service another flight, Dr. Dao was forcibly removed and manhandled by Chicago’s Aviation police. This bungled incident will cost UAL far more in lawsuits, negative publicity and compensation than it was worth. Of course, Dr. Dao has now become another poster child of abused customers around the world by one more unconscious business. While there are many angles and twists to the gross mishandling of Dr. Dao, two serious questions must be asked that will have a far-reaching impact on United Airlines’ bottom line and the overall way the airlines industry treats customers in the future. The first question is this: How will United

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A Labor Day Thought on Work

Recently, there have been several studies on how many people are unhappy with their jobs. Some studies claim that upwards of 75% of all employees are either unhappy in their jobs or unfulfilled. My big question is “why?” Why do we take a job that is either unrewarding or requires us to perform a task we loath? I’ve heard all the excuses — many of which appear valid at the time– including “I need the money,” or, “it was supposed to be a step-up the corporate ladder,” etc. But, in the final analysis, I think we should always ask ourselves two keys questions when it comes to accepting a job: 1. Does this job or position help me utilize my talents and gifts? 2. Is this position fulfilling? In other words, will it grow me as a person or make me a better person? If either answer is “no,” don’t take the job. Find a position that raises you up and utilizes your talents. If the position doesn’t exist, create it! We live in an era when you can perform just about any task, anywhere, for anyone. Don’t be trapped into working for someone or some company that doesn’t appreciate your talents

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How Would your Company Rate on a Culture Assessment?

By: Tom Hinton and Barbara Yager, J.D. Corporate Culture is the rug beneath the feet of every company. Companies have a culture whether they know it or not. It can be a culture that embraces your people and customers, or one that disempowers a company and negatively impacts their profitability.  We see examples of both every day. Just look at high performance companies like Southwest Airlines and Under Armour versus volatile companies like Volkswagen and Takata who have lost their way. To be a truly best-in-class company you need to consider the 5 Ps of Culture that form the foundation of every company’s culture.  They are Purpose, Principles, People, Process and Performance.  In our forthcoming book, The Heart & Soul of Culture: How to Align Your Culture to Your Brand, we explore each of the five Ps and how to structure your business around them. When we work with companies to strengthen their bottom line through a Culture Assessment, here are some questions we ask senior management to answer: What are the “Standards” set by management for your company? Are those standards practiced or are they just for show? What are the “Values” of your company? Does every employee at every level

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Prayer of Forgiveness

Here’s a beautiful prayer entitled “The Prayer of Forgiveness” written by Swami Sivananda (1887-1963). It’s fitting as we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. If anyone speaks ill of you, praise him always. If anyone injures you, serve him nicely. If anyone persecutes you, help him in all possible ways. You will attain immense strength. You will control anger and pride. You will enjoy peace, poise and serenity. You will become Divine.

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Passages by Tom Hinton Available Now at Amazon.com

I’m excited to announce that my new book, Passages: A Book of Daily Inspirations and Weekly Exercises from The Course of 10,000 Days is now available on Amazon.com So many of you have emailed me to ask when Passages would be available, and how you can get a copy? Here’s how: http://www.amazon.com/Passages-Inspiration-Weekly-Exercises-Course-ebook/dp/B00OO4LMI2   I hope you enjoy it and will take a moment to write a review of Passages on Amazon.com so others are inspired to get a copy and start to apply the many valuable quotes and exercises in this powerful book. All my best for a prosperous new year! Tom Hinton www.10000Days.org 

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A Conscious Culture Creates Profits

I once heard a physician describe the culture of his award winning hospital in this way. He said, “Just as our body needs red blood cells to live and grow, we also need white blood cells. Red blood cells equate to our income and profitability. But white blood cells equate to our patient care and superior performance in all areas.” What the doctor described was really a Conscious Culture — one that fosters continued learning, personal and professional growth and the opportunity for people to apply their skills and knowledge in ways that benefit their customers and, in turn, the company. As a result profits are realized. When I talk to companies and organizations about creating a Conscious Culture, I emphasize the Four Ps. They are your Principles, People, Processes and Performance. Regardless of the type of business or organization you operate, these four areas influence your values, attitudes and behaviors in the workplace. But, just like the human body, we need a balance between our red and white blood cells. And, so does your company. You need a balance between your business operations, customer relations and profit strategies. We refer to these three areas as your Business Success Triad. It’s a

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Your Corporate Culture Impacts Your Customer Service

After several years of being relegated to the sidelines, companies are once again paying attention to the significance of their corporate culture. Culture was a hot topic among CEOs and leading consultants in the early 2000s, but it slipped off the radar screen as wild profits and social media ballooned with the new millennium. When that happened, companies took their eye off the customer service ball as well! The disappointing results were predictable. Now, companies are scrambling to re-capture once-loyal customers who fled to the competition. For many years, I’ve been preaching that “Culture Matters!” It’s the foundation upon which superior customer service and employee dedication to the company’s values and mission are built. Years ago, we realized a company’s culture is a reliable indicator of a business’s social media popularity, employee retention and customer retention. But, what exactly is “Culture?”  And, what aspects of culture should a company focus on?  We define Corporate Culture as “the blending of your company’s history, heritage, standards, values and attitudes with the experiences of your customers and employees.” Because your corporate culture impacts performance and profitability, it is much more than a simple behavioral model that evaluates the norms and expectations of employees and how they perform their

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The CEO is also the Chief Wellness Officer

There’s no question that the chief executive officer has many important responsibilities.  But, one of those responsibilities that is becoming more important to the productivity and profitability of your organization is the role of chief wellness officer. What exactly is a chief wellness officer? The 10,000 Days Foundation defines a chief wellness officer as the individual who is responsible for the personal growth and professional engagement of employees in the workplace. It requires leadership and skill. We are not talking about the health and physical wellness of employees although that’s important. Rather, a chief wellness officer is concerned with the mental and spiritual development of employees because these are the two areas that influence a person’s productivity, commitment to their job, teamwork and adherence to the core values of your organization. It’s so much more than training or human resources. It’s really about rejuvenation and reconnecting people to the workplace. During The 10,000 Days Foundation’s Life Balance Retreats, we emphasize the importance of commitment to the workplace because a person’s legacy is often defined by their work and career. For someone to have a rewarding career and work experience is critical to the individual’s sense of pride, self-worth, and shaping their legacy. A disturbing statistic recently cited by

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The Joy of Journaling

by Tom Hinton Journaling is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your goals. It’s also a wonderful way to capture ideas, expand on your thoughts and express your inner-most feelings. During The Course of 10,000 Days retreats, we encourage attendees to journal. If you’ve never journaled, start slow. Simply write a few sentences about your day. Capture some of the highlights and positive moments. Write a few words about the new people you met, the places you visited, what you ate, and your reaction to the day’s news. The number one reason people tell us they don’t journal is they don’t feel they have anything worth writing about. Let me challenge that idea because it’s both devaluing and suggests someone doesn’t appreciate their gifts and talents. Everyone has something significant to record about who they are, what they think and what they do. You can use journaling as a healing tool, communicate with your inner-child, or help you move beyond a failed relationship. It’s great therapy; and, it’s free! Also, let’s clarify another misbelief. Your journal is for your eyes only. It’s not something you need to share with anyone. In fact, most people who journal don’t share their writings with

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What Makes Your Happy… Really?

By Tom Hinton For the past six years, as part of my work with The 10,000 Days Foundation, I’ve been studying happiness. Specifically, I’ve explored one question — what causes people to be happy? I’ve reached some very interesting conclusions. First, most people choose to be happy or unhappy. Happiness is both sensory and habitual. What I mean by this is that many people are genetically predisposed to either being happy in life or being unhappy. We all know people who make us laugh, smile and feel good whenever we’re in their presence. These are the kind of people we enjoy being around. They raise our spirits, invigorate us and help us appreciate life experiences. At the other end of the spectrum, we all know a few people who just never seem to be happy. They complain and whine about everything. They could win the lottery on Tuesday, and by Thursday they are upset and complaining because their brother wants to borrow a few thousand dollars! The unhappy person is always bending over dollars to pick up the few pennies he dropped. Happiness expert and author Barbara Yager reminds us that “Happiness is a state of mind that people develop over

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