Delta CEO Ed Bastian Shares Lessons Learned First Year


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Being an airline CEO is no easy task, and after 20 years with Delta, Ed Bastian accepted this role a year ago. However with compensation totaling $12.6 million last year, there’s a lot of responsibility. Ed wrote an article about several lessons that he has learned this past year in his new role as CEO.

Delta Air Lines

View all the lessons Ed shares in his LinkedIn post:

Listening is half the job. During my first year, I traveled extensively throughout our worldwide network, meeting with Delta customers, employees and investors. I spent much of that time just listening to their suggestions, complaints, travel stories and most importantly ideas on how we can do our jobs better. I have learned an enormous amount from our frontline employees about the day-to-day work that keeps Delta going around the clock. That feedback has been a valuable tool.

Make diversity part of every day. It is critical to hear from a wide array of voices and a diversity of opinions. You can’t do that unless you’re actively surrounding yourself with colleagues that represent the world, not just one narrow slice of it.

It’s OK to stumble, as long as you get up quickly and move forward. Delta is the industry leader in reliability, but weather and technology issues hampered our operations on a few occasions, and we let our people and our customers down. But we took those opportunities to do a deep review of our systems and processes to learn from our mistakes – and we’re working on solutions across our company to reduce and eventually eliminate the chance of it happening again. And transparency with your key stakeholders is essential during that process.

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