The principle of “Service Above Self” might resonate strongly with Rotarians, but it’s also becoming a mantra for the corporate world. Here’s why this concept is more than a noble idea—it’s a practical strategy shaping successful businesses today.

Southwest Airlines: A Customer-Centric Approach

Southwest Airlines has made a name for itself by putting customers at the forefront. Their generous policies, like no fees for changing flights and “Bags Fly Free,” aren’t just friendly gestures; they’ve contributed to strong customer loyalty and robust bottom-line growth.

Zappos: Building Loyalty Through Service

Zappos has built its brand on the pillars of customer service, with initiatives like a 365-day return policy and around-the-clock support. The result? A customer retention rate of 75%. They’ve proven that understanding and pleasing your customers is far from just a good deed; it’s good business.

Salesforce: Trust Through Community Engagement

Salesforce embraces the principle of service by committing to its 1-1-1 philanthropy model. Their connection to the community and focus on understanding builds trust, enhancing both brand image and customer relationships.

Employee Volunteering: The Rotary Connection
One cannot discuss “Service Above Self” without mentioning Rotary, where this motto is the organization’s heartbeat. Many businesses are now encouraging their employees to volunteer on Rotary projects.

Why? Because it creates a shared sense of purpose and community. Companies like IBM and Google have partnered with Rotary clubs to work on local and international projects, ranging from education to clean water. This not only enhances the companies’ reputations but fosters a culture of empathy and collaboration among employees.

The Power of Service
“Service Above Self” isn’t a lofty ideal; it’s a practical, rewarding, and proven approach to building a thriving business. By focusing on customers, nurturing trust, and engaging in community service, companies can create an environment where success isn’t just measured in profits and positive impacts.

To borrow a line from Mark Twain, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” So why not start today by embracing service in your business strategy? You might find that the path to success is paved with the willingness to serve others.