“If you’ve encountered delays and cancellations recently, I apologize.”

With those words, Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, demonstrated an aspect of leadership that has resonated at a time when air travel has been challenging for both travelers and airlines.

Bastion’s message, sent to Delta’s SkyMiles members and passengers, posted on the airline’s website, distributed to the media, and posted on his personal LinkedIn page, was cited by Inc. magazine in a recent article as a lesson in effective leadership.

The author, Bill Murphy Jr., writes that Bastion’s apology worked because “it displayed an overall understanding of what an apology can and can’t do, because it’s organized with an ‘up, then down, then up higher’ framework and because it leveraged five key emotions throughout.”

Read the Inc. article on Bastion's message.