What's Dave Like In The Other Universe?



[[[[[Timeline – It’s a new movie coming out soon. Think it’s about parallel Universes existing simultaneously on different planes or dimensions explained by some kind of cosmic quantum technology to manipulate an orthogonal multiverse change...]]]]]

[[[Hay... I find it more fascinating than an Austin Powers movie]]]]

[[[[Hmmmm...Wonder what UAIR’s CEO is like in another Universe.. What memo is he writing to his employees right now... What kind of leader is he...]]]]]

Twilight News Today
Staff Reporter: R. Serling

Lam~Poon Airways (NASDAQ: POOAIR), had an unusual visitor today at its main hub of Delay~phia International Airport. The sighting occurred as a PooAir Flight Number 2 (a moniker of affection by Lampoon’s Customers and Employees) arrived from Pittel~sburgh, this afternoon. A most unlikely employee stepped foot onto the tarmac’s ramp area to lend a hand. The mysterious stranger, not typically on the team foreman’s roster of Aircraft handlers, was none other than PooAir’s Chief Executive Officer, evaD legeiS.

evaD as he likes to be called, looked somewhat out of place as he was apparently unprepared for the harsh environment of Ramp Operations. The CEO, removing his suit jacket, misplaced his ear protection, as the hulking Airbus 319 announced its arrival with powerful jet engines wailing cruelly under the bridled restraint of a cockpit manned by some of this nation’s most experienced Professional Aviators. The multitude of veteran employees assembled on the flight line, suppressed knowing smiles as Mr legeiS (err... evaD), scurried from the intense engine noise, covering his ears with his hands as he retreated to a marginally quieter sanctuary in what’s known as a “Tugâ€￾ vehicle used by mechanics to tow Aircraft.

Appropriately supplied with the necessary hearing protection for a beautiful twilight evening on the Airport Ramp, this reporter, Rod Serling, again returned his attention to the cacophonous approach of the giant airship. This is not a normal perspective everyone experiences, I thought. I felt a sense of awe. The overshadowing hulk dwarfed myself as well as the airship’s ground crews who stood calmly at the ready. Like some invisible force field, A yellow painted perimeter line identified the danger zone for minimum safe distance to the aircraft – until the engines are properly shut down. Advanced and Powerful in a sheath of controlled fury, these engines project invisible critical danger zones that can either blast a truck over on its side, or lift a grown man from the ground, dozens of feet away, sucking him into razor sharpened blades, slicing through the space of air before it, at an unimaginable – thousands of revolutions per minute. The experience and vigilance of these veterans for the dangers of the job, just being one of the hundreds of disciplines respected by the Airline’s army professionals who are uniquely trained for a job unforgiving of the slightest mistake.

What happened next can only be described as an almost graceful ballet as the Ship opened up like a spring blossom, yielding itself to vehicles which spirited every which way, carefully docking themselves to the ship in scripted maneuvers by sure hands -- Connecting passenger docks, Service Vehicles and Conveyers. Before beginning their routine safety post flight inspections, PooAir’s Veteran Mechanics carefully attached Umbilicals to the Mothership – All providing a sort of life support for onboard systems as the giant engines slowly windmilled to a stop for a well deserved, but temporary, respite.

As the last engine wound down, evaD once again emerged onto the ramp. Still unsure about removing his index fingers from his ears, he approached our group near the baggage loader. One Ramper (employee) turned his attention to the group, tilting his forehead as if to peer over imaginary spectacles, “See where ole evaD’s got his fingers over there?...That’s pretty much where the Boss sticks his fingers during every labor negotiation.â€￾ A roar of laughter was quickly suppressed as evaD approached the group, introducing himself to each man and woman – shaking each’s hand with a single pump. “Let’s get started boysâ€￾, as he began to unload the first bag. Despite his many faults, the group sensed, hesitancy and indecision wasn’t one of them. evaD pretty much kept pace with the group without getting too much in the way. “Not much time for socializingâ€￾, he said to me, as the flight was on schedule for what’s called a “quick-turnâ€￾ in the Airline business.

After what seemed like a marathon of unloading 50-pound oversized bags, evaD rolled up the sleeves of his starched blue shirt, as he wiped a streaming river of sweat from his brow with the back of a hand. “Wow, that was a heck of a work-out. You guys deserve credit for doing this all day, everyday, especially in the kind of weather we see up here.â€￾ A strong calloused hand, unaware of it’s strength, slapped the Chief Executive on the back, “You’re not going to leave the job half done, are you Boss?â€￾

Like an old western movie, a long train of swift moving baggage carts, in a tight “circle the wagonsâ€￾ maneuver, parked in front of the aircraft’s right wing. “These are going to MickeyTown, Boss.â€￾

“Let’s get to work, boysâ€￾, they chimed in with good natured mockery. Even evaD smiled at the employees’ cheerful jab at their Boss. With the same vigor, the baggage handlers began the reverse process of reloading the Aircraft’s baggage compartment. evaD kept up, but not with the same twinkle of initial enthusiasm.

Seizing an opportunity between baggage carts, I stopped the CEO and asked, “Why are you doing this Mr legeiS... I mean... What’s the purpose of all this?â€￾

“Please... Just call me evaD.â€￾ [sigh... some things don’t change]

Throwing another heavy MickeyTown bag on the Belt-Loader, evaD begain again -- shouting over the distant noise of runway departures, but mostly for the benefit of the silently attentive employees in his work group. “This is, sort of a personal introduction to a new initiative by Management.â€￾ “We intend to drive home our message that we must all work together as employees to insure the success of our Airline. Every Manager, from the CEO on down, will get out among their employees at least one day a week. We’re not going to just talk to them. We’re going to work with them. We’re going to listen to them. The airline business is a 24-7 job. That means, for Executives as well as every tier of Management, there are no guaranteed Holidays, no 9 to 5s, and no neat 5day workweeks. I’m expecting everyone in Management to participate in this new initiative even if it means inventing 8day workweeks. In short – we intend to lead by example. If management is unwilling to go the extra mile, make the extra sacrifice, be more flexible on the job and learn to truly work as a team; then we can not and will not expect our employees to sacrifice either. Management has plotted, what I believe, is a well-organized roadmap for success. We must have every employee working with us to make the plan a success.â€￾

The men and woman working in rhythms of tireless efficiency, occasionally exchanged glances as the CEO ostensibly spoke in my direction. He paused, strategically waiting while a landing aircraft, exiting the runway, spooled down it’s noisy engines. He wanted his employees to hear every word. “We will have to work hard... I cannot guarantee there will not be more sacrifice... But, my emphasis is... And what we want the employees to understand... Is we, being Management, are not going anywhere... We are here to stay... Management will be rewarded after the employees first reap the rewards of their hard work and sacrifices... And, Management will be the first to sacrifice if the employees must sacrifice.â€￾

“Every organization is differentâ€￾, he continued. “Service related industries demand that employees be motivated. A motivated team of employees can overcome any obstacle. It shows in their faces and it shows in their work. It becomes infectious and the Airlines services gain a reputation of quality, reliability and efficiency. In order to gain Customer loyalty, Management must recognize that the employee is it’s most powerful sales tool. Our goal is to regain credibility with our employees by listening to them while working with them. Slyth~West is not the only Airline with LUV. However, these are tough times and these though times may call for some “Tough LUVâ€￾. But if I can get one message across to my employees about sacrifice and hard work, it would be – the short road to success is surely the toughest; But by taking the shorter route - we expect - a quicker return to Profitability and Growth. A by-product of Growth, of course, is a benefit for all those employees who have sacrificed. The long road is a lazy climb, fraught with dangers, which assures only competitive stagnation, market erosions and the greater risk to employee quality of life issues and professional job securities. It’s the incorrect path.â€￾

Having the honor of placing the last bag in the aircraft, evaD turned to face a gathering assembly of specialized employee mixes. “The one thing I’ll promise each and every one of you is... I’ll do my best to put the word “FUNâ€￾ back into the job experience here at PooAir.â€￾

The CEO tried, for a moment, to scan the thoughts of his small Army of employees -- then – he slapped the metal fuselage of the Aircraft with the palm of his hand. “Now... (rubbing the stinging palm of his hand) ... Now that these bags are loaded, can anyone show me how to close this thing up.â€￾

I watched as time seemed suspended in an awkward stillness. Then among the congregation, the Group’s designated comic, again with tilted forehead, appearing to look over some non-existent eye-frames stepped into the open. Smiling, he piped; “Come-on Boss... We’ll have a look there... Shoot... With your muscle and my brains, We might be able to figure out how to make this thing work together.â€￾

Seeing the Cargo Compartment hatch secured shut, evaD thanked the big ramper.

“Don’t thank us yet Boss. It’ll take more than shallow promises and superficial gestures to earn the trust of these guys. Seems the word ‘round here is the only time you get a hug from management types is when they got one arm around yer shoulders while they got th’other hand deep in your pant pocket. Tell-ya Boss... That ain’t a feel good kind of feelin. We just ain’t gettin that lovin feelin, Boss. It kind-a makes a man feel like he’s bein used, ya know. Boys and Girls ‘round here feel that when management has what they want – then they don’t know-ya any more. Ain’t a good feelin boss.â€￾

“Ya got ya work cut out. We’ll be watchin ya. And... these guys here ain’t stupid. They’re looking for a consistant leader.â€￾

“We’re not looking for a leader who’s just – “a friend in needâ€￾.

“On all the other 364 days of the year, we’d kind-a like to have a leader who’s also – “a friend in DEEDâ€￾. They’re smart enough to know if they got one – or not. After all the bad stuff that’s goin around, trustin ain’t going to be easy. They’ll need some solid proof. Luck to ya... Luck to aw-lof-us.â€￾

As the big ramper walked away, he turned briefly, catching the CEO watching his retreat. Hard to tell, he thought... Whether the CEO was just looking or actually seeing... Whether he was just hearing or actually listening... Hard to tell.

If he’s consistent in the nature of his old leadership style – Then he didn’t hear squat. If he’s really going to try to take a stab at being labor’s new best friend again, then we’ll give him the benefit, but... don’t blame the employees for having their guard up this time.

There ain’t going to be no dictating of terms, no ultimatums and no deadlines this time. He’s going to have to sell the plan. If it don’t make sense – sorry, but we ain’t buyin. Fact is... If the man can’t change his style, then maybe this store needs a new salesman.

evaD seemed preoccupied in thought as he absently helped another employee roll up the lines connecting the ground Air-conditioning to the aircraft. The CEO’s trance was broken by the Twilight reporter. “So you and your management team will be out here on the ramp come rain or shine, at least every week?â€￾

Clearing his mind and regaining his footing, evaD responded, “Well, I’ll be showing up everywhere in the Airline’s Operation, on different occasions, from now on. The employees will catch me taking reservations, selling tickets, helping board the passengers at the gates, pushing wheel chairs if need-be and serving our customers drinks and snacks, in flight, right along side our Flight Attendants. It’s my goal to shake the hand and speak the name of every one of PooAir’s employees. My hope is that they will discover that my only commitment is to the success of this Airline and the futures of our employees. I believe, with that, you’ll find that the interests of our investors, shareholders and especially our customers will be served as well, with a mutual purposeful goal for success.â€￾

“And, I must add, that I expect this initiative, to improve cooperation and morale, among the employees and Management, here at PooAir. It is an initiative which will be taken up in like manner by all of the members of my management team. I expect my team to roll up their sleeves and get involved at the grass roots levels as well. Everyone at this airline has a first name... We intend to learn as many of them as possible.â€￾

“This sounds great, however, wouldn’t an Airline CEO and Harvard graduate find a more worthy use of his time running the Airline from his Executive headquarters?â€￾

“You quickly learn that Airlines aren’t run from Executive Headquarters. Airlines are run right down here in the trenches. Plans and strategies are outlined in those offices. Strategies may be plotted up there, but down here is where they succeed or fail. I intend to see them succeed. I’m learning that the best way to succeed as a leader is to lead by example.â€￾ As I’ll explain later, the employees will trust what I say because of the extent to which I intend to apply this new initiative – to “lead by exampleâ€￾.

Right on time. The Flight to MickeyTown was fully serviced, loaded-up and ready to be on its way. I followed evaD as he helped remove the chocks from the nose tire while the mechanic prepared the Plane for it’s push-back. We then searched for the sparse shade and cooler temperatures near the walls of the terminal building as we watched men in orange vests safely maneuver the aircraft into the congested alleyway between concourses. Once again the twin jet engines came alive.

As the PooAir flight taxied from the terminal, our group slipped inside for a brief break from the hot tarmac as a lull set in between the rolling banks of scheduled arrivals. evaD discovered a somewhat grimy Cola machine in a dusty corner, where he began feeding crisp $5 bills while another employee cheerfully helped pump out a round of thirst quenching soft drinks for everyone present.

Catching his breath again and speaking so all gathered could hear, evaD took up our conversation again. “You seeâ€￾, he said. “I believe... no, I know, management has had a credibility problem here for a long time. Unless we can regain some sense of credibility, I know no one will get behind my team or myself to help me make this airline a success.â€￾ “It’s going to take the full cooperation and commitment of everyone from the top-down, or this Airline will meet the same demise as has been met by those failed carriers, before now.â€￾

An uneasy shifting rolled across the crowd as if to convey a message to evaD – We know what’s coming... we know what you’re going to say... and we heard it time and again.

Almost sensing he was loosing the crowd’s attention, evaD began again. “This time I’m not going to lead from the top down like former executives. I’m going to lead from the bottom up.â€￾

“General Patton didn’t help win a war by sitting in his comfortable planning room playing with toy soldiers lined along some map of Europe, while drinking French wine and sleeping in soft beds. He inspired his men by coming down and marching with them; By talking with his soldiers; Taking measure of their spirit; By breathing the frigid air they breathed; by sleeping on the cold ground they slept on.â€￾

“He established a bond of trust between his people and himself. He trusted that they would fight hard to win his battles and his soldiers trusted that he, Patton, would show them victory with intelligent and resourceful leadership strategies.â€￾

Every day, here at PooAir, we’re suffering from the same- Poor planning, waste, and inefficiency, which means we’re putting the life of one more employee here at PooAir at risk – Risks of broken dreams and destroyed homes. We must learn to trust each other. I will show you that you can trust me. I’m asking now... let us trust each other.â€￾

“We’re at war here gentlemen and, of course, ladies.â€￾ evaD rose to his feet and began to walk among his employees, peering into their weathered faces. “We are formulating plans which will help us win this war but we need the help of all of you. We need your support. We need you standing behind us.â€￾

“As I said before, my management team and I will be making some sacrifices -- We will lead by example. I will demonstrate that this Management team is not here for the quick buck. We will not abandon this Airline and we have no intention of abandoning labor for some quick personal profit of gain.â€￾

“To regain credibility and employee trust, Management will go beyond just paying occasional visits to these operational departments and getting our hands dirty. My initiative to improve morale with leading by example with go beyond that. It will go much beyond that.â€￾

“Lee Iacocca, was one of the most respected leaders in his industry. His reputation as an executive and a leader is unsurpassed. Mr Iococca instilled trust in his vision by proving his commitment to the company and his commitment to his employees. He instilled trust through self-sacrifice. Mr Iacocca sacrificed by limiting his salary to one dallar a year. When asked about this sacrifice, Mr Iacocca once said, “I didn’t take the one dollar a year to be a martyr. I took it because I had to go into the pits.â€￾ Mr Iacocca further stated, "... it made a big statement in Detroit. It showed that we were all in this together. It showed that we could survive only if each of us tightened his beltâ€￾

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope to win your trust by also demonstrating my willingness to sacrifice along with the sacrifices you have made. I will also be limiting my Salary to one dollar a year. However, I intend to take the unprecedented step of signing a legally binding contract of obligation to you -- the employee. I am prepared to demonstrate that I will, by a contract of trust with my employees, not accept more than one dollar a year in compensation until PooAir has four successive quarters of profits. My commitment to you is that neither this CEO nor any member of my Management will receive raises or bonuses unless you the employees attain like levels of compensation as well. My commitment to you is that I personally will not abandon this fight. My commitment to you is to remain here and fight until this Airline is once again a respected competitor in the industry. I am not going anywhere. I can make these commitments because I am that confident in my plan. I am confident, success is well within our reach.â€￾

“In the past, I have beat the drum of “cost structureâ€￾ and how our costs relate to other Low Cost Carriers such as Slyth~West. I know you’ve made some tough choices in ratifying past agreements which has led to direct labor cost savings of more than 1 Billion Dollars a year. Many of you have written me and said you are now receiving total compensation, less than that of some Slyth~West employees. Yes, they do have a successful business model with high morale inspite of having one of the most unionized labor groups in the industry. I am aware that Slyth~West Management places emphasis on employees first, then investors second. I’m aware that Slyth~West is the “industry model for pay plans that have low fixed costs and lots of upside potential. Its workers getting thousands of stock options -- nearly 10,000 for pilots, about 9,500 for dispatchers, about 6,000 for workers who wash Southwest airplanes. And at that volume, a rising stock price means some serious money, and many Southwest workers have retired as millionaires.â€￾â€￾

As I said I will lead by example. I will make extreme sacrifices and my commitment is my loyalty to you and to this company. I’m not going anywhere. In return, I am asking for your trust. My management team will be forthright an open. We intend to commit ourselves to designing a system which will operate at maximum efficiency. One which will increase resource productivity while maximizing the impact of a veteran work force. Believe me when I say that I want the least impact possible on staffing levels, however in the short run, we will have to make sacrifices.â€￾

Trust me when I say, Management will make deep sacrifices. Management will become more versatile and more responsive and more streamlined. Remember... the shortest road to success is the toughest... but the shortest road is the quickest road back to a normal life. I’m not going to preach to you about my version of reality. I’ll ask you to make an honest examination of how you see the reality of our situation. How are we now like Slyth~West, and how are we unlike them. Surely you will see that they have a more productive workforce. We may not need wage cuts but we do need their morale; their versatility; and their productivity. I’m not asking for more ‘fromâ€￾ you – I’m asking more “ofâ€￾ you.

I and my team are ready to be the first to “lead by exampleâ€￾. It’s my contract with you. In return I need your trust. I need your willingness to come to work and work hard. I need you willingness to come to work and be versatile on the job. I need you willingness to come to work and bring -- fun -- to the job.

[We now return you to your own Universe]
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When you compare Mr Siegel’s leadership style with that of other industry leaders, it’s clear that he and his management team project a feeling of detachment and itinerancy. Contrary to the characterizations in my post above, Siegel is not the kind to “lead by exampleâ€. He not the kind to sacrifice along with his troops. He often comments that as far as Executive Compensation is concerned, there is little else in loyalty to this Corporation which provides incentive for He and his team to remain and fight. As in Chapter XI, remarks of dissolving this airline comes a little to easy to the lips of a man who’s only dedicated a few years of sweat and blood to an institution which has been home to the rest of these employees for decades.

Many of our employees have lived and worked at this organization with some where between 20 to 30 years of service. Mr Siegel and his team have been here a little over 2 years. Their financial security is shielded from failure while the employee’s is not. Such financial security has been provided in early retirements to a revolving door of CEO’s for the past Decade. None have remained to see the job finished, yet all had a common answer to the Airline’s Demise – Labor! ... Never Management.

Look around the industry. Can you feel a sense of Executive permanence, dedication and loyalty at both the Low Cost Carriers as well as some of the Legacy Airlines? Do you have a sense that USAirway’s Executives are deeply rooted in a permanence to their commitments and loyalties to the employees and the success of this Carrier. Do you get the same sense of attachment and loyalty from Siegel and his team as demonstrated by their belief that Executive Financial Incentives equals Corporate loyalty and commitment.

It’s becoming sickening to listen to a CEO who often expresses vicarious illusions of heading other Corporate Households. ...“If I had their Contractâ€... “If I had their Corporate Modelâ€... “If I had their labor Costsâ€... “I would gladly take that company’s Executive Salaryâ€. As an employee, It all kind of makes working for USAirways – an experience somewhat like being an unwelcome foster child.

Mr Siegel has the vicarious illusion of seeing himself working as an Executive for SouthWest, JetBlue or Airtran. He wants to be a part of a success, without possessing the skills, intellect, commitment, or loyalty to build a successful corporate model himself. This airline is a contradiction of both the Legacy Airline Corporate Model as well as the LCC Business Model. Without a leadership capable of finding and applying a new Identity for USAirways, we will remain a Dysfunctional Airline; We will retain a Dysfunctional Cost Structure; and we will have a Dysfunctional relationship with a leadership, which doesn’t convey a feeling of commitment, sacrifice and loyalty to our employees or our Airline.


So well done. Great post again.

I tried to post the "Plane Business Banter" in its entirety and I could not.


This topic needs to go back up to the top.

I wish every employee at U could read this entire topic.
In my tenure at U the average life expectancy of a CEO is approx 2.5 years. That means Dave is close to gone. Good riddance! :down: :down:
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Everything is on the Table.

In about a month, the USAirways employees will see new initiatives – new cost efficiencies, perhaps resulting in a request for a corresponding reduction in force.

Employee Representatives should rigidly establish ground rules for breaking the seals on those manila folders of Corporate proposals opening the door to a new age of flying smarter here at USAirwyas.

1) The CEO, in the spirit of a new age of commitment, loyalty and dedication to the Airline, It’s Customers and It’s Employees, will lead by example. The CEO’s total compensation will consist of $1.00 per year until the airline reaches a goal of 4 consecutive quarterly profits. All Senior Executives will immediately accept a 30% reduction in total compensation. Thereafter, no Senior Executive will receive total compensation increases greater in percentage than those agreed upon by those amendable agreements with labor.
2) The CEO will place 500,000 of his 1 Million shares of USAirways stock in a separate trust for the duration of new contract agreements. Other Chief Executives will also submit to the same formula of economic sacrifice. In addition, 50% of all future Executive distributions will be divided accordingly. This trust will be used to supplement and extend furlough compensation to any and all additional layoffs the company sees as necessary as a direct result of new Corporate initiatives. Should no additional furloughs be necessary, as deemed by Corporate Leadership, then these shares will be restored to Executive accounts upon the satisfaction of obligations of Federal Loan Guarantees according to the company’s POR.
3) The Corporation will rationalize headquarters requirements – location and space, more appropriate to the scale and economic downsizing of the Airline. CCY headquarters will move and consolidate to, less expensive existing offices, at one of USAirways’ main or secondary hubs.
4) If Senior Corporate Executives elect to sever relations with USAirways because of loyalties driven only by Economics of personal gain, then Employee Representation on the BOD will have the final say on the recruitment, selection and worthy compensation for new, more dedicated, more talented, more loyal – Executive leadership.

“Lee Iacocca, was one of the most respected leaders in his industry. His reputation as an executive and a leader is unsurpassed. Mr Iococca instilled trust in his vision by proving his commitment to the company and his commitment to his employees. He instilled trust through self-sacrifice. Mr Iacocca sacrificed by limiting his salary to one dallar a year. When asked about this sacrifice, Mr Iacocca once said, “I didn’t take the one dollar a year to be a martyr. I took it because I had to go into the pits.†Mr Iacocca further stated, "... it made a big statement in Detroit. It showed that we were all in this together. It showed that we could survive only if each of us tightened his beltâ€

“General Patton didn’t help win a war by sitting in his comfortable planning room playing with toy soldiers lined along some map of Europe, while drinking French wine and sleeping in soft beds. He inspired his men by coming down and marching with them; By talking with his soldiers; Taking measure of their spirit; By breathing the frigid air they breathed; by sleeping on the cold ground they slept on.â€

“He established a bond of trust between his people and himself. He trusted that they would fight hard to win his battles and his soldiers trusted that he, Patton, would show them victory with intelligent and resourceful leadership strategies.â€

When the company accepts these terms then the seal on those manila folders of new corporate initiatives will be broken and the contents examined for consideration by Labor's leadership.
This is the ultimate sacrifice and role senior management should take, to prove that they are here for the long-term and success of our airline.

Nothing short of the above, will suffice.