New Year’s reSOLUTIONS: Without a Heart, It’s Just a Machine

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Southwest Airlines’ Director of People discusses how she intends to appreciate others both inside and outside of the office in the new year.

By Shari Conaway

As we come to a close on 2014, I realize that the older I get, the faster each year goes by. I feel as if we just “rang in” the year, and we’re already looking ahead to 2015. With that being said, a new year presents new opportunities for development, and 2015 is sure to be a year full of opportunities. I’ve taken the time to write down a few goals for myself as a guide in both my personal and professional life.


One of my personal goals for 2015 is to make sure to carve out quality time with family and friends. 2015 will be the year to “get together.” With my youngest child being a sophomore in high school, I have to remind myself that there will only be two more “first days of school,” two more homecomings, two more basketball seasons. So now is the time to enjoy those moments. Life is too short, too precious and too unpredictable. We have to remember to take a step back and appreciate the people in our lives.


What a historic year 2014 was for us here at Southwest Airlines: new international service; a bold, new look; the end of the Wright Amendment; and the integration of AirTran. All of this growth made it a monumental year for the People Department as well, resulting in hiring more than double what we anticipated. As we continue to support all of our departments at Southwest Airlines in 2015 and beyond, I want to make sure we focus on our team members. Our people are our greatest asset, so continuing to serve them by guiding them through career paths, training and personal growth is my goal for 2015. And, of course, all while having a fun-LUVing attitude!

Busy calendars make it easy to forget to be grateful for the people in our lives, but it’s so important that we take the time to appreciate not only what, but who, we have, and let them know that we’re grateful for what they do. I hope to make 2015 a year full of appreciation for the people in my life and the shared moments with them.

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Shari Conaway is Director of People at Southwest Airlines. She was featured in Issue No. 10 of Forefront magazine.


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