En 11 breves palabras, United Airlines acaba de compartir el mensaje de liderazgo perfecto para 2021

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Este es un artículo sobre liderazgo, repetición y dos citas memorables: una del director ejecutivo de United Airlines y otra generalmente atribuida al filósofo griego Aristóteles.

En realidad, la cita de Aristóteles es un poco controvertida.

Independientemente de si combina la sensación de 2300 años contenida en esta cita con 11 palabras rápidas compartidas por Scott Kirby, CEO de United Airlines, la semana pasada, creo que encontrará la guía perfecta de noticias para 2021.

Vayamos a las citas de inmediato y luego mostremos por qué esta es una hoja de ruta tan útil para cualquiera que intente ejecutar un negocio en este momento.

Primero, la cita, generalmente atribuida a Aristóteles: «Somos lo que hacemos repetidamente. Entonces la excelencia no es un acto, sino un hábito».

Ahora las 11 palabras de Kirby. Estos surgieron durante un segmento que el CEO de United Airlines realizó en el programa de radio. Mercado: «Mi trabajo principal es cuidar a las personas y cuidarlas».

Por supuesto, la cita del filósofo tiene más estilo, pero la esencia de las palabras de Kirby sobre el cuidado de las personas es clave. Este es el por qué.

Hace unos meses entrevisté a un neuropsicólogo de primer nivel sobre cómo liderar equipos durante la pandemia. Tenía algunos consejos detallados, pero todo se reducía a un punto importante.

El mundo se sintió a sí mismo como un lugar particularmente amenazador en 2020. Incluso si las personas no se han visto afectadas personalmente por el coronavirus y su sustento ha continuado ininterrumpidamente, en su mayor parte tienen la sensación de que la desgracia podría estar a la vuelta de la esquina.

Como resultado, las personas necesitan una cosa por encima de todo: la confirmación de que son las prioridades de otras personas.

Es necesario escuchar a los líderes decir: «Sí, entendemos sus miedos». Y: «No, no queremos hacer nada para resolver sus problemas».

¿De quién necesitas escuchar más? Director Ejecutivo. Jefes. Las personas cuyas decisiones diarias tienen un impacto directo y abrumador en su destino.

Y tienen que escuchar eso una y otra vez.

Para continuar con un tema, y ​​mis referencias a sentimientos de sociedades antiguas, que a menudo se citan, vengo aquí para no alabar ni enterrar al director ejecutivo de United Airlines.

La industria es volátil y United Airlines no se diferencia de sus competidores en ese sentido. Tiene alrededor de 22.000 trabajadores hasta la fecha, aunque Kirby ha dicho por separado que no espera que United pierda ningún empleo adicional.

De todos modos, los jueces no están seguros de si United Airlines prosperará en la era posterior a la pandemia y si Kirby está haciendo las cosas bien y si el personal de United Airlines le creerá cuando dice que las personas son su máxima prioridad. son.

Seamos realistas: todos hemos escuchado a los directores ejecutivos decir que las personas son lo primero, con tanta frecuencia que parece un cliché. Aún así, me he dado cuenta últimamente.

A veces, cuando realmente creemos en algo y lo decimos suficientes veces, podemos practicar trabajando más duro para hacerlo realidad.

No sucede por arte de magia, pero la memoria muscular se hace cargo. Se convierte en la respuesta estándar.

Y puede llegar al punto en que la gente se cansa de usar la energía necesaria para mantener el cinismo, y empiezan a creer en tu palabra.

Mejor aún, tal vez te hagan responsable.

Si su mensaje como líder en estos tiempos caóticos es algo como «las personas primero» o «nuestro equipo es lo más importante» o incluso «mi papel principal es ser personas y cuidar de las personas», la retórica puede convertirse en una realidad.

Ni un solo acto, no solo palabras. Pero un hábito verbal que puede conducir a la excelencia.

Mira eso año horrible a partir de 2020 pronto se desvanecerá. Surgirá la nueva esperanza del 2021. Espero que se sienta optimista.

Y si esto resulta ser bueno, espero que uno de ellos sea el nuevo énfasis en dar prioridad a otras personas, en los negocios y en la vida.

Repite el año nuevo. Entrénate para creerlo profundamente como guía.

Puede que se sorprenda gratamente de lo bien que inspira.

Las opiniones expresadas por los columnistas de Inc.com aquí son las suyas propias, no las de Inc.com.

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Let's go right to the quotes, and then show why this is such a helpful roadmap for anyone trying to lead in business right now.

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First, the quote usually attributed to Aristotle: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

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Now, the 11 words from Kirby. These came up during a segment that the United Airlines CEO did on the radio show Marketplace: "My main job is about people and taking care of people." 

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Granted, the philosopher's quote has more flair, but the substance of Kirby's words about taking care of people are key. Here's why.

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A few months ago, I interviewed a top neuropsychologist about how to lead teams during the pandemic. He had some detailed advice, but it all came down to one important point.

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The world has felt like an especially threatening place in 2020. Even if people haven't been personally affected by the coronavirus, and even if their livelihoods have continued uninterrupted, they've largely felt as if calamity could be around any corner.

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As a result, people need one thing more than anything else: a reassurance that they are other people's priorities.  

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They need to hear leaders say, "Yes, we understand your fears." And, "no, we don't want to do anything to add to your troubles."

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Who do they need to hear it from most of all? Business leaders. Bosses. The people whose daily decisions have outsized, direct effects on their destinies.

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And they need to hear this over and over and over. 

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Now, just to continue a theme -- and my references to oft-quoted sentiments from ancient societies -- I come here neither to praise the CEO of United Airlines, nor to bury him.

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The industry is reeling, and United Airlines is no different from its competitors in that respect. It's furloughed roughly 22,000 workers so far, although Kirby has said separately that he doesn't expect United will have additional job losses.

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Anyway, the jury is out on whether United Airlines will thrive in the post-pandemic era, and whether Kirby is doing things right, and whether United Airlines employees will believe him when he says people are his top priority.

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Because, let's be honest: We've all heard CEOs say they put people first, so often that it can feel like cliche. Yet, I've come to a realization lately.

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It's that if we truly believe in something, and if we say it often enough, we can sometimes train ourselves to work harder to make it come true.

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It doesn't happen magically, but muscle memory takes over. It becomes the default answer.

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And it can lead to a point at which people tire of expending the energy necessary to maintain cynicism -- and they begin to take you at your word. 

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Even better, maybe they start to hold you accountable. 

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So, if your go-to message as a leader during these chaotic times is something like, "people first," or "our team matters most," or even, "my main job is about people and taking care of people," rhetoric can become reality.

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Not a single act. Not just words. But a verbal habit that can lead to excellence in performance.

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Look, the annus horribilis of 2020 will soon fade away. The new hope of 2021 will emerge. I hope you feel optimistic. 

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And if good things come out of this, I hope that one of them is this kind of renewed emphasis on prioritizing other people -- in business, and in life -- takes hold.

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Keep repeating that in the new year. Train yourself to believe it deeply as a leader. 

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You might be pleasantly surprised at the level of excellence you inspire.

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