Olympic competition - Chester Cook

This past week, it was announced that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was honored with another World's Best Airport Award.

I believe this is directly attributable to the mission statement to "be the world's best airport by exceeding customer expectations."

Everyone who has worked at the Atlanta airport for any length of time knows this mission statement and believes in its importance. The mission is not so much a philosophy as it is a way of being.

The level of excellence needed to achieve this mission is individual and corporate. The vision is endemic, from the general manager to the new hire. The vision is cast, adopted and lived.

I have the opportunity to visit a variety of departments in the airport and I find the mission to be central to the focus of every meeting and plan. Planning, preparation, and practice go into every event. The rigorous training and practice perfects the product.

Much like the Olympics, our goal is to be the very best. It is not a competition against other airports for bragging rights. Rather, it is a quest to be our best.

We want to set the world record, and then strive to beat our own record. Our challenge is to look for ways to improve our own personal excellence and to help our partners achieve their full potential. It is a win, win, win enterprise.

As we tune into the Olympics, I hope it will be a reminder that there is a healthy competition we all need to strive to achieve. And I hope we will recognize the un-sportsman-like way of competing, where defeating our opponent is the goal.

I feel sorry for people who feel that this is necessary to win. True competition is where we endeavor to compete at our highest level by maximizing our training, performing at our professional best and contending for the gold.

If you have any comments on this column, or any other subject, please contact me at chaplain@airportchapel.org.

Dr. Chester R.Cook