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Leading the Way Podcast: Doug Parker, CEO, American Airlines

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker is fearlessly taking his airline to new heights. With an emphasis on building trust, collaboration, and developing caring leaders, Doug declares they’re building a culture at American Airlines today that will take them well into the future.  He highlights their strategic objective to think long-term and what it takes to build a world-class airline by making culture a competitive advantage. 

In this insightful interview, Doug shares his humbling story of what inspired him during turbulent times that changed his entire perspective to realize leadership is less about his career and all about the people who work there.  With so many great discussions about lessons learned, agility, strategic execution, leadership development, diversity, and inclusion, you’ll learn first-hand how Doug Parker, with a true frontline focus, is changing the way his airline does business.  

American Airlines, the world’s largest airline and a company whose service has no boundaries, is truly being led by a boundary-less leader. You’ll ascend to a higher altitude as you tune-in to this week’s podcast and hear how Doug Parker is leading the way.  

Key Soundbites  

  • On transparency – “I view that as my job as much as anything, to be out talking with the team so that they can hear where their company is headed and how their company is doing. That’s how I best know how to get the organization to the place it needs to be, is being out talking to people.”  
  • On building trust – “What we consistently tell the team is the only way we can build trust is to just do trustworthy things over a long period of time, and it’ll happen over time. It’s not going to happen overnight. We just need to keep doing trustworthy things over time.”  
  • On agility - “We are figuring out ways we can be more nimble. It’s really about changing the way we design the work and the way you do the work as opposed to just putting items on a list and making sure they’re prioritized and staffed.”  
  • On leadership development – “What we know is we need to go build the leaders of the future of the airline, and we need to create a culture that develops leaders. The first way is caring. The leader’s job is to create an environment that cares for our frontline team, and we need leaders to do that.”  
  • On collaboration - “In today’s world, more important than ever, we need leaders that know how to work together. We want to have people that like working in teams and that like to succeed, but they really like seeing other people succeed and helping other people succeed.”  

About Leading the Way

Leading the Way is a weekly radio show and podcast series that highlights influential business leaders and leading people practices from i4cp. Co-hosted by Emmy award-winning television anchor and radio host, Scott Murray, and i4cp’s Angel Carlton, the show features interviews with respected business leaders from the world of business, sports, entertainment, healthcare and philanthropy.  

The show airs live every Sunday at 4 pm CT on KLIF 570 in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, the global audience is invited to listen live on   and the weekly podcast debuts on iTunes  or Google Play and the i4cp website the following week.