A leader with a commitment to a value like “We stand by our passengers and employees when all hell breaks loose,” or with a commitment to securing the airline’s good reputation, would have jumped all over this event, right away. That leader would have made certain that the whole world knew that both the leader and the airline considered such abuse intolerable, would have rejected racism and discrimination in all its forms, and would have announced that a full internal review of the incident was underway.
On the other hand … when there is a personal commitment to an “it’s all of us” relationship … when the leader does model that value, is personally committed to it, and makes sure it is a personal accountability to every person on the team… an amazing thing happens. Everyone on the team buys into “It’s all of us,” regardless of the role that individual plays … and every member of the team becomes accountable to every other member.
The big takeaways here for leaders are: make good on your commitments to your customers and your employees; take appropriate action even when people you don’t employ make mistakes; and focus on always making decisions around what you say you believe and value.
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