Coffee, tea or … a chat with the airline CEO?

Inc. Magazine has an article about JetBlue CEO David Neeleman, who regularly puts in a stint on one of his flights, serving and meeting his customers.

As we sat there, buckling our seat belts and checking out the televisions in front of us, a middle-aged man with slightly graying hair stood up in the front of the plane. He had on the long apron that JetBlue flight attendants wear, with his name stitched into it. “Hi,” he said, “my name is Dave Neeleman, and I’m the CEO of JetBlue. I’m here to serve you this evening, and I’m looking forward to meeting each of you before we land.”

This is waaaaay cool. He’s meeting his customers and his employees first-hand. He’s out there sensing and reinforcing company culture. And most of all, to me at least, he’s showing humility. He demonstrates that he’s not above his employees and his customers by serving them.

Every CEO of every company anywhere, needs to consider doing something like this!

4 thoughts on “Coffee, tea or … a chat with the airline CEO?”

  1. Peter Drucker made this point in 1966 writing in The Effective Executive. cf. pages 13-18. He says, "Unless he (the executive) makes special efforts to gain direct access to outside reality (customer experience), he will become increasingly inside-focused."

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