As a frequent flier of JetBlue airlines, I was as disappointed as others to hear the news of the horrible delays, poor customer service, and general lack of strategic planning that the company had during the weather problems of mid-February 2007. One thing that I knew about JetBlue, however, was its roll-up-the-sleeves mentality.
So it wasn’t too big of a surprise to me to see the JetBlue CEO David Neeleman, taking responsibility for these problems in his rather candid video message to JetBlue customers spread out over YouTube. What I thought was very interesting, however, was the following:
- a corporate CEO of one of the most popular airlines in the US dressed casually in a message to its clients
- a video message where it’s clear he is talking directly with the clients rather than seeming overly rehearsed and memorized (or teleprompted) message
- his opening of “Dear JetBlue customers…”
What interests me most is the uncanny notion that our technology community, lead by those that have a strong focus on community building and reputation validation systems, seems to have made a public relations communication piece like this reality. Before YouTube, would Neeleman have had such a candid “speech” with clients in such a casual format?
Maybe the bigger question is this: do we want our leaders, corporate or otherwise, to seem more like us? Is this a good thing? By doing so, are we missing what by definition makes a leader, a leader? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines leader as, “a person who has commanding authority or influence.”
Nonprofit news, strategy, and tactics sent straight to your inbox
Sign up for the Soapbox Engage newsletter
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 20th, 2007 at 7:48 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.