The actions of a Germanwings pilot is a powerful example for corporate CEOs.
The day after this week’s crash, Germanwings flight crews were given the choice whether or not to come to work.
Time magazine reports that before take-off on a particular post-crash flight, the pilot addressed very nervous passengers from a microphone at the front of the plane. He introduced himself and admitted to feeling uneasy himself, not knowing the circumstances surrounding events the day before.
He said he and the crew were there voluntarily, that the company didn’t force anyone to be on duty that day, that he double-checked the plane himself that morning. He said he has family, kids and a wife who loves him and that he knew passengers and the crew have loved ones too. He promised he’d do everything possible to get everyone to their destination safely.
Passengers listened silently. No one was checking text messages, chatting or reading. No one asked for the pilot’s credentials, how long he’d been flying or exactly how he would handle a crisis.
After his address, they applauded.
Germanwings has strong quality flight and safety standards. Still, one of their flights went down the day before.
This pilot addressed his passengers as a competent professional–and a man of compassion. With presence of mind, he understood their feelings. He chose to be seen and heard when it mattered.
He considered it part of his job to personally check the plane and to visibly assure those onboard that they were safe in his care and why. That the crew under his command could be trusted as well.
And while a crash was highly improbably, he knew that heart-stopping flashes of wonder during turbulence would hardly be described as a quality flight.
He had their physical, mental and emotional safety in mind.
In all probability, you are a trustworthy CEO whose personal and corporate values reflect deep interest in providing a safe, rewarding and quality work experience for all your people.
Because values are an experience, not a set of slogans.