Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Business https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ The CEO of United Airlines has just shared the perfect message for leadership for 2020 and these are just 8 words

The CEO of United Airlines has just shared the perfect message for leadership for 2020 and these are just 8 words

I admit, I was surprised to see United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby quote Winston Churchill.

Not because the offer is not appropriate. That’s some after that.

Instead, because when United Airlines announced last year that Kirby would take over as CEO Oscar Munoz, I read account after account, describing Kirby as number-oriented and dumb.

So I wondered how this kind of leadership style would translate during the pandemic – a time of great challenge and uncertainty that requires inspiration and rhetoric of a kind that most leaders have never had before calling.

United held an invitation to win this week. The transcript then contained 1

1,000 words and noted, for the first time since the airline laid off 13,000 workers earlier this month, that a group of analysts and reporters had been able to question United Airlines executives about the airline’s future.

Calling this a challenging time for airlines is an understatement. United reports that passenger revenues fell by 84%. And when Kirby began his speech, having to begin by thanking United staff for voluntarily leaving the airline or spending fewer hours to reduce labor costs.

But the past is over, and while at one point Kirby said he thought the airline would not fully recover by 2024, he also went back 78 years to find the words that set the right tone for leaders this exceptional year. .

The key quote – as noted, is actually Kirby, quoting Churchill – contains only eight words, although the context is a bit longer and deserves to be included:

[T]however, what we are expressing is not a transition from pessimism to optimism, but an expression of confidence in the future.

There’s a great quote I love … from Winston Churchill, which he said in 1942, more than two years before the end of World War II after the African campaign, and the British won in Africa, “This is not the end. even the beginning of the end. This is probably the end of the beginning. ”

And I think we’re at United Airlines right now. … [W]You have done what is necessary in the initial stages to have confidence. … [W]We will look back as a turning point. The light at the end of the tunnel is far away. But this is the turning point.

The eight main words: “This is probably the end of the beginning.”

Circumstances are now very different, of course, from what the British faced during World War II, but we share with those times the feeling of losing control and of real pain and longing for a different future.

This is a time when leaders desperately want to be able to share good news – to be able to tell stakeholders that things are under control and that you have a plan to get back to normal.

The problem? This may not be true.

I recently spoke with a neurologist who specializes in leadership development, Dr. David Rock, who stressed that during a pandemic, almost the entire world responds neurologically to higher levels of threat perception than normal.

So leaders need to emphasize positive feedback and encouragement, strive to create security, and offer flexibility, empathy, and goals for cooperation.

As Churchill realized during the great crisis of World War II, and as intelligent leaders understand now, there is a way to reassure people that they have made progress while preparing them for the difficult times that remain.

It is about giving hope without offering false hope; to offer praise without empty flattery.

It is not a question of whether United Airlines actually followed the best path under Kirby during the pandemic. I can’t tell you this one way or another.

People get hurt and it will be a long time before we can look back and study a specific case.

But in terms of tone? This is exactly the right one.

And whether you’re quoting Churchill, or quoting Kirby, or formulating it in a way that seems more natural to your personal style of speaking, that’s the message that great leaders will seek to share right now.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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