For various business reasons, I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately. I’ve visited many cities, attended several events, and had the pleasure of learning from a variety of well known speakers. Recently I’ve heard from the likes of Tony Hsieh (Zappos), John Assaraf (from the movie The Secret, and author of The Answer), Guy Kawasaki (Apple), Sir Richard Branson (Virgin) and even George W. Bush (need I elaborate?). All of their messages were very educational and insightful, but there is one in particular I want to share with you.

One of the speakers at the EO Texas Round Up in Dallas was Roy Spence, Chairman of GSD&M Idea City (a marketing firm) and CEO of The Purpose Institute. This was timely given my recent blog on core purpose. His story was about the power of focusing on your purpose.

Roy has worked with Herb Kelleher (former CEO and Chairman) of Southwest Airlines for decades now, and over the years has helped to support their purpose around freedom of the airways.

Roy told us about the time not long ago when outside consultants came to Southwest’s executive team and told them that they were losing $350 million a year not charging for bags. Management asked Roy what he thought and he said that if they did this they were going against their purpose of giving passengers the freedom to fly! The executive team said we see your point, but go figure out how to make up the difference!

  Well by now I am sure that you have heard or seen one of the Bags Fly Free commercials for Southwest that Roy worked to put together. The ones like “we love your bags” or the one I can’t get out of my head, sing along with me now “Bags fly free..bags fly free” on and on. These are powerful commercials that have gone on to help create… are you ready….A BILLION dollars of additional revenue for them.

How cool is it that when you stay true to living your purpose you keep your people engaged and excited about what you are doing you don’t have to sacrifice profit for your truth.

Roy showed this video called Hallelujah to help us understand what purpose feels like:

He said when you have these 4 things you will know purpose.

1) You have to know the words to the song

2) You have to listen to one another

3) You’ve got to step up when it is your turn

4) It really sounds good when you sing together…