As companies scrambled to figure out how to manage their business during the pandemic, communication with all stakeholders, including customers, is critical. Based on emails saw from a range of companies, the difference between people with a leadership title and true leadership is clear.
A notable example of true leadership is Ed Bastian of Delta Airlines. His nicely-paced customer emails in 2020 provided a straight-forward update on what was happening to flights, what Delta was doing to keep customers and employees safe and to support employees and communities, and providing inspiration that someday things will be better and Delta will be there for you. Getting the right balance of facts, showing care for others and remaining realistically optimistic about the future is a delicate balancing act that Delta seemed to have gotten right. Even their updated motto reflects this: “Keep climbing together”.
Contrast this with too many other company C-level email updates that were all about their company and the fact that they were still doing their usual work for you. Especially in times like these, only leadership that’s about others and the “we” earns trust and loyalty.