In a LinkedIn interview, Delta CEO Ed Bastian discussed the decision to revoke the National Rifle Association (NRA) discount after the Parkland, FL, shootings, one year ago. The discount was for NRA members, and only 13 took advantage. But the real loss was in $40 million in tax benefits, which Georgia Governor Cagle fought to strike after the company’s decision.
Bastian admits that the loss was significant. But he concludes, “Our brand is worth so much more, and our values are not for sale.”
Bastian refers to the NRA’s “divisive rhetoric” and says that he didn’t want “to be seen as advocates” of the organization and its views. He also describes what we might call authentic or purpose-driven leadership:
"If you know who you are, you can make those decisions. And that you can make those decisions and sleep well at night.”
What leadership character dimensions are demonstrated by this situation?
Do you think Bastian did the right thing for Delta? Why or why not?
How well does Bastian address the interviewer’s question? Overall, how do you assess his delivery?