Benchmark yourself against Britain’s Most Admired Leader 2015/16 – Carolyn McCall, CEO of easyJet

“easyJet is a safety business and trust in easyJet is paramount. Reputation is everything.”

Dame Carolyn McCall – CEO, easyJet and Britain’s Most Admired Leader


Four measures of how much people trust you and your organisation:

1.0     TRUSTED BY CUSTOMERS

Measure: growth in revenue

Customers trust easyJet to deliver on its clear vision:  to be Europe’s preferred short-haul airline – delivering market-leading returns and making travel easy and affordable for all.

“You have to have a clear vision and then make decisions quickly, particularly about people because you need to have the right people in the right roles,” says Carolyn McCall.

2.0     TRUSTED BY HER TEAM

Measure: how much your team add to your business

“You tell them the truth even if it’s unpalatable.  You’re always open and accessible – people know they can always talk to you even about the stuff that’s not easy to hear,” says Carolyn McCall.

IPSOS-MORI says her colleagues are probably her biggest fans[i]. The easyJet team is more engaged than any of its competitors.

“My guiding principles are to treat people as you’d like to be treated.  You deliver profits to shareholders while having great power to do some good such as providing a service like no other in an enjoyable work environment,” says Carolyn McCall.

3.0     TRUSTED TO LIVE BY THEIR VALUES

Measure: the gap between what you promise and what you deliver

Take two easyJet values:

One team – means flat hierarchy.  People bring their whole selves to work – mind, body, heart and soul.  They feel able to find ways around obstacles which makes it easier for the easyJet team to deliver on their promises.

Simplicity – costs are kept low.  For instance, easyJet’s offices are open plan to keep the company’s culture open and collaborative.  Quiet conversations are had in a coffee shop.

4.0     TRUSTED BY SHAREHOLDERS

Measure: profits and/or shareholder return

easyJet’s numbers speak for themselves:  profits are up to record levels and the share price has quadrupled with a happy team.

easylife?  Hardly – all this has been achieved in five years against a backdrop of regular currency crises, the odd ash cloud grinding the whole network to a halt and consumer expectations constantly climbing to stratospheric levels.

[i] IPSOS-MORI says easyJet is 19 points above any other airline for employee engagement, worldwide.  IPSOS-MORI is a leading market research company in the UK and Ireland.

The Management Today Britain’s Most Admired Companies research is the largest peer review of its kind and is conducted by Professor Mike Brown of Leeds Beckett University.

Unilever was voted the Most Admired Company and has featured in the top 20 every year since the study began in 1990.