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Former United CEO Oscar Munoz Shares Key Leadership Qualities And How He Manages Societal Turbulence

By | April 25, 2023

Former United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, has led a remarkable career in the aviation industry. Throughout his tenure, he provided leadership during challenging times, including the infamous passenger removal scandal. Munoz has managed to navigate the complexities of societal turbulence, while still maintaining a focus on the key leadership qualities necessary for success. In this blog post, we will explore Munoz’s insights on effective leadership and how he manages societal turbulence. Get ready to learn from one of the most seasoned CEOs in the business world.


Former United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, is one of the most influential CEOs in the aviation industry. Under his leadership, United Airlines navigated through tumultuous times and restored customer trust and employee faith in the company. Recently, he was interviewed on Forbes Talks, where he discussed the key leadership qualities that he possesses and his views on managing societal turbulence. Let’s explore his insights on leadership and turbulence in detail.

Key Leadership Qualities of Oscar Munoz

During his interview, Oscar Munoz revealed three key leadership qualities that have played a significant role in shaping his career. Here are the leadership qualities he mentioned:

  1. Empathy

According to Oscar Munoz, empathy is the most critical leadership quality that one must possess to lead effectively. Munoz believes that empathetic leaders are better equipped to understand and connect with their employees and customers. As a result, they are more likely to make better decisions that positively impact the company’s reputation and bottom-line.

  1. Impactful Communication

In addition to empathy, Oscar Munoz believes that impactful communication is another essential leadership quality. Leaders who can communicate with clarity and conviction are better able to inspire their employees to achieve great things. Moreover, good communication skills can significantly impact how customers perceive an organization.

  1. Focus on Results

Lastly, Oscar Munoz emphasized that leaders must be result-oriented. He believes that having a clear focus on results allows leaders to make decisions that are in the best interest of the organization. Leaders must be able to identify and prioritize the most critical issues that they need to solve to achieve the desired outcomes.

Managing Societal Turbulence

In his interview, Oscar Munoz discussed how he managed to guide United Airlines through a challenging period where the company had to deal with several societal turbulences. Here are some of the insights he shared:

  1. Clear and Transparent Communication

Oscar Munoz believes that during turbulent times, leaders must communicate clearly and transparently with stakeholders. He emphasized the importance of being honest and transparent about the company’s challenges and what it planned to do to address them. He went on to say that such communication instilled confidence in employees and customers alike.

  1. Embracing Diversity and Inclusion

Oscar Munoz discussed how companies must embrace diversity and inclusion to manage societal turbulence effectively. He stressed the importance of having diverse perspectives at the decision-making level. This way, leaders can better understand the concerns of their employees and customers from different backgrounds.

  1. Focusing on Long-Term Goals

Lastly, Oscar Munoz emphasized that during turbulent times, leaders must focus on long-term goals. He believes that it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and make decisions that cater to short-term interests. However, it’s crucial to consider how the organization will be impacted in the long-term.


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Oscar Munoz’s leadership philosophy is one that emphasizes empathy, impactful communication, and a focus on results. His insights into managing societal turbulence provide helpful guidance for leaders attempting to navigate difficult times. Forbes is one platform where you can access such exclusive interviews and insights from leading thinkers and doers. By subscribing to Forbes, you can gain access to premium journalism, members-only events, and an ad-light experience, among other benefits.