Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are the highest-ranking executives in an organisation. They shape a company’s ideals and set its tone and culture. They are answerable not just to the board of directors representing shareholders and owners but the organisation as a whole. What makes a good CEO and why does Alex Cruz need to go?
In a nutshell, a CEO is responsible for everything which takes place within an organisation and therefore needs to empower and inspire those they lead with their integrity and vision. Clear communication is key along with exemplary leadership, problem solving, analytical and above all, people skills. A good leader is followed, a bad leader is obeyed.
Crucially good CEOs engage with, understand, respect and protect all the employees in the organisation. In times of crisis, this is more important than ever. Let’s take a look at how some of the leading CEOs in the world have responded accordingly to the fallout from the Coronavirus.
“Your people come first, and if you treat them right, they’ll treat the customers right.” Herb Kellerher Southwest Airlines
“Rule number 1,2 & 3 is you’ve got to take care of your employees first. Your employees are the engine of your firm and so if you don’t help them feel safe, secure and cared for then there is no starting point.” Ajay Banga, MasterCard
Conserving jobs was “one of the easiest decisions I ever made”…….. This is a once in a hundred year health crisis.” James Gorman, Morgan Stanley
“I don’t think it’s in this kind of situation that we’re going to announce restructuring measures. Let’s face it, there’s a question of decency.” Frederic Oudea, Societe Generale
“It is in times of great disruption and uncertainty that our ability to stay grounded in our sense of purpose and remain true to our identity is of the utmost importance. We are all in this together as a global opportunity………… I am proud every day to work at Microsoft and count you all as my colleagues.” Satya Nadella, Microsoft
“There is enough sadness in the world and already too many families impacted by job losses. I have no interest in contributing to that.” Alfred F Kelly Jr, Visa
“There’s simply nothing worse than telling highly valued associates, people who are the very heart of this company that their roles are being impacted by events completely outside of their control. I’ve never been more determined to see us through than I am at this moment…………… I know that we as a global community will come through the other side. Together we can and we will overcome this and we will thrive once again.” Arne Sorenson, Mariott
As detailed in this video Arne Sorenson will also not be taking a salary for the rest of the year and his executive team are taking a 50% pay cut. Now that’s what I call leadership. A shining example of a first class CEO!
With the above in mind let’s now review the qualities of the aforementioned CEOS who despite the global battle for survival are leading by example and putting their people first.
Optimistic and positive
Respectful and decent
And finally let’s have a think about which qualities Alex Cruz, CEO of British Airways possesses.
Well that didn’t take long did it?
Worldwide CEOs: douze points, Alex Cruz: nul points.
I rest my case.