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The 737-MAX has a trust problem

The 737-MAX is back in action!

Now, if you had to board one tonight how you feel?

Would it soothe you to know that the FAA Administrator said he was “100% confident” in the airplane?

Would you rest easy knowing that there are new pilot training requirements and the software has been updated?

Or would you still have that little twinge in your gut? Would you hear your brain saying, “everything will probably be fine,” while feeling your gut hesitate.

Where is that hesitation coming from? It’s a trust thing. Boeing’s big problem now, and the airlines’ big problem now with the 737-MAX is trust. And why is that? As someone who follows the aviation industry, I just haven’t seen enough effort (yet) put in to rebuilding trust.

Let’s set this case study aside. For those of you in leadership positions, trust is essential. In general, If the product is broken, fixing the technical errors is important. Equally important, though, is communicating openly, earnestly, frankly, and frequently about what happened, why it happened, and what you are doing about it.

We do that because the big problems are never just about solving technical solutions, they’re also have a human component.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership | Relationships

Published on November 18, 2020

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