Forbes Coaches Council Member

Leadership Insights from a Delta Air Lines VP

When Delta Air Lines came to town, I was not enthusiastic. Seattle is provincial and extremely protective of our hometown brands. But when I actually met Mike Medeiros, Vice President for this region, he turned out to be a really cool guy, which made it a lot harder to maintain my cool indifference. Delta flew in swiftly to Seattle and invested itself into the fabric of Seattle, which means a lot to this community.

I wrote a CEO profile in the Puget Sound Business Journal, “Seattle’s slow process shocks Delta executive Mike Medeiros.” Here are a few highlights…

In my book, on stage and in real life, I ask every CEO, what is the 1 behavior or trait, besides integrity, that you think every leader must have in order to be great?

Mike said trust. “If your team doesn’t trust that you have their back or can’t trust that what you’re saying today is the same thing you’ll say tomorrow, they won’t trust that you’re leading them in the right direction. And then a team won’t blossom like they could. Teams need to see they can trust the leader.”

Another question I asked Mike was if he could have dinner with anyone – dead or alive – who would it be?

Mike said Ronald Reagan. “I’m a history buff and I’d like to learn more about his perspective and the role he played in the Cold War and the wall crumbing. I’d like to hear about the dynamics of sitting in his shoes and being the leader he was for the world. How did that feel?  It took courage and I think by all accounts – whichever side of the political spectrum you fall on, he was impressive.”

I’m pretty sure President Reagan is spinning in his grave right now, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.

With that, there’s some bittersweet news for Mike Medeiros. He’s leaving Seattle for a warmer-weather adventure. Mike was tapped to become the Chief Operating Officer for Aeroméxico, as part of its new plan with Delta to establish the largest trans-border alliance between Mexico and the United States.

Adiós, Mike Medeiros. We will tip a margarita in your direction, but when you need a beautiful glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, make sure you come back our way.

Cheers!