Leaders pay it forward

Settling into the January routine, I can’t help but think about the new year and how I can improve. Many of my holiday aspirations include getting more exercise, learning about new tech trends, and taking parts of my game up a notch.

As leaders, we might be thinking about how to bring bigger ideas to the organization, communicate more effectively, and drive better results. Very quickly, we put pressure on ourselves to perform and make things happen.

While self-improvement is important, Paul Jacobson, Delta Airlines CFO, is quick to point out that when it comes to leadership, “it’s not about you … it’s about serving people.” Yes, leaders cast vision and communicate dreams and goals to their teams. But Paul argues that the best leaders focus on others, creating opportunities for their people. They use the platform of their position to help people grow and succeed. When that happens, everyone wins.

Hear Paul’s thoughts on customer service, technology challenges, and leadership in our recent conversation.


Leadership Notes is a blog and video series on leadership.  Through interviews with leaders from both the private and public sector, Johnson examines key leadership issues like empowerment, team development, and cultural dexterity.  The blog also addresses topics such as learning from failure, the importance of friendship, and the role leaders play in developing organizational culture.

You can access the entire library of entries on LinkedIn.

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