In the early 1990′s a major airline significantly changed the job description for the Country Manager from dealing with day-to-day operations issues, to becoming an ambassador for the company in that country. It entailed building relationships with the travel minister, the prime minister, and other organizations that provided business leadership and structure for business success in each country. Whereas previously they were expected to be keen at execution and efficient in operational control, these leaders needed to know how to attract business to the region, to be able to demonstrate how the airline could play a key role in the fulfillment of building the financial and strategic business development for the future of the country. The Country Managers were not able to embrace, nor develop these additional responsibilities.
In a custom designed transformational leadership development series, participants created a new career vision for themselves and then pathways and structures to fulfill on their vision within the company’s new direction. They developed plans for themselves, for who they now were in the company, and how they would implement that future.
Their projects both saved and generated millions of dollars. Improvement was also seen from 3.5 bags per thousand mishandled to 1.0 per thousand, and being on time improved from 75% on time to 93%. Costs dropped approximately $20 million, and profits increased by 10%.