Yesterday I was the moderator for a seminar in sustainable leadership (PDF in Swedish). Key note speaker was the legendary former SAS CEO Jan Carlzon. I think SAS needs him back more today than they need airplanes. Few leaders talk about dreams, love and passion. Too few leaders understand how emotions can change and improve both motivation and results for an organization.
Today SAS employees have stoped smiling and their good business results is history. We have too few leaders in Sweden at the level of Jan Carlzon. He can make an organization focus in order to deliver what is critical for their business performance. Today SAS seem to be without focus. That’s why I asked Jan if he will return as CEO for SAS? He smiled and responded quickly that a man in his age needs calmness.
What ever leadership SAS will headhunt and employ it will not have the experience of their former CEO. If they involve him in the big questions, like focusing their business on the right track it could be win for SAS and Jan would still be able to maintain balance and calmness.
The seminar was arranged by passionate people working with The Hunger Project (Hunger projektet). The audience were demanding inspiration to perform better business, I think they got more than that, they got emotions to fly leadership like SAS once did.