April 2017

When Values Don't Matter—Anything Goes!

The response of the United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, to the recent United Airlines scandal in which a passenger was forcibly pulled off a plane after the airline had overbooked the flight, is an excellent example of Executive Level leadership failure.

The purpose of "C" level Executive Leadership is to guide the organization safely into the future. Munoz' actions embodied in his initial response to the unfortunate incident, demonstrated a lack of executive leadership skill in a number of areas one at the C-level should have mastered. So many areas, for example, crisis action planning, rapid decision-making, strategic thinking, strategic communications, establishing core values, it is not possible to address them all in a short article.

Mr. Munoz' fundamental failure took place long before the incident with the victimized passenger. The inability to ensure United Airlines' Core Values are more than words but in fact, guide the behavior of all who represent the now beleaguered airline is evident. United Airlines has a set of well-defined, admirable core values: "Warm and welcoming is who we are; we make decisions with facts and empathy; we earn trust by doing things the right way."

Core Values must distil down into action. I wonder how many United Employees know the core values published by the Airline? The actions taken on that flight indicate they don't know them. Of course, I am being kind if they know them and don't adhere to them it is a demonstration that the Executive Level leadership of Mr. Munoz is failing.

My message to, Executive Level leaders to new first time, front line leaders—live your values; live your organization's values! Be the exemple of what you expect others to be.

Mr. Munoz gave an initial statement concerning the incident that is instructive to leaders at all levels. His statement cast blame onto his passenger—the customer. There is no recognition of the organization's core values, no expectation to live up to the core values of United.

Leading is not easy. It requires much from those who want the seat in the corner office. It means looking out into the future, putting into place the strategies to get the organization there. It also means establishing an environment where those you lead can function effortlessly and confidently. It starts with organizational values that are lived; without them, anything goes!

Graduation Expectations

Just when I thought it was safe to talk about all the possibilities, a young woman can dream about and live up to—BANG!

Colleges and High Schools will soon be graduating the next generation of remarkable young women to enter the workforce or the next level of education. I have been stunned by the lack of encouragement I have heard. Most notable is the lack of motivation coming from counselors.

I have heard young women desiring to go into untraditional jobs for women tell me of how their counselors advised them to think more "secretarial." Worse yet, "why would you want to pursue college that is just not for you?" I can't let this stunning advice go without comment—"you have a college degree, why waste it going into the military?" All these comments came from the counselors both at the High School and Collegiate level.

Ladies, if you dream it—go and do it. If at first, you fall flat on your butt, no problem, get up and go at it again. Write some history. Why—because you can. Check out this site to read about some women history has forgotten. We, the world, are in a better place because of them http://listverse.com/2013/10/14/10-groundbreaking-women-scientists-written-off-by-history/. Live up to your own expectations!

Are You Sure?

I am often asked for leadership advice based on my Marine Corps experience for use in business. This section is providing short leadership tips you can use in becoming an Exceptional Leader. Being good on any given day is easy. Being exceptional requires daily effort. Enjoy the read.

Are you sure your organization is living the core values you expect? You cannot be everywhere, make every decision, sooth the complaints of every customer. That is why you have core values. It guides the day-to-day behavior of your employees.

When was the last time you walked among your employees and talked to them; listened to them and saw them in action? If you have not, then you know nothing about how the organization's values are being played out. Hearing from a disgruntled customer is too late; damage is done.

Leading is not easy. Don't be the next Munoz.

Current Happenings


We will be giving the course "21st Century Community Policing and Cultural Competency" on 26-27 July 2017 again in Norfolk VA.

Sign-ups for the course start this month.

Contact us for details at [email protected]


The Online version of "21st Century Community Policing and Cultural Competency Course" will be out in beta for testing.

We expect a full launch of the online course in June 2017.

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