Delta Air Lines executives give advice on leadership

I'm in Las Vegas this week covering an airline conference and visiting the headquarters of Allegiant Air, so I may be updating a little less than usual. 

But I wanted to call your attention to a couple of interesting interviews on Delta's website. The airline's corporate communications team has a newish feature called "on leadership" in which it asks top Delta executives questions about their past, and about their management styles. 

This is P.R., of course, so you won't find truly ground-breaking stuff. But it is interesting, and if you want a top job in the industry some day, you might be interested to learn how these executives got their starts. 

My favorite part of the series is the interview with Paul Jacobson, Delta's CFO. I especially like his answer to this question. 

What is your favorite or most notable item in your office?

(Jacobson walks to a framed letter to Delta from a bank saying it didn’t want to do further business with the airline. It arrived during Delta’s restructuring.)

It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come since 2005, and how to treat people right. If you don’t, they’re not going to be there for you when times get tough. That goes for employees and customers as well. The letter reminds me of that lesson.

There's also an interview with Delta's chief legal officer, who, like Ted Cruz, walks around with a U.S. constitution in his pocket when he travels. 

"This is going to sound geeky, but I always travel with a copy of the U.S. Constitution," Peter Carter tells the interviewer. "Years ago when I was living in Colombia, I found myself having a conversation with a local about our Constitution and wishing I had a copy of it. When you’re in a country where people may not have a Bill of Rights or due process, it reminds you how lucky you are as an American to be able to have what we have."

[Update:  I met Carter at this conference and asked if he had his constitution with him. He did not, but he said he did bring it to Las Vegas.] 


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