The new CEO had waited longer than most to get her chance in the top job.
She had experienced a lot on her way to the top, and had a clear vision for her airline, FlyBest. She would invest in service and lower prices by driving improved efficiency and as a result, grow sales and profits that could be reinvested in expanding the airline.
Having worked in every area of the airline, she also knew just how it could be done - but held back from saying so. Instead, she called in her key directors one by one and asked them how they would improve efficiency. She then asked them each to present their ideas to the board: more flexible rotas, better purchasing. The board agreed, and the individual directors began beavering away.
The cumulative savings were significant, and the board agreed to reinvest back into more competitive service and pricing. The leader now asked her team to think how they might improve service. Again they brought plans to the board, who agreed them, and the directors implemented them with relish. The CEO’s congratulations rang in their ears for the brilliance of their ideas and skill in execution.
Customers loved the lower prices and new services and so flew more with FlyBest, boosting sales and profits. More was invested again in expansion and the airline became the envy of the industry.
The art of leadership is getting others to do what you want and believe it to be their idea.