Friday, March 30, 2007

Leadership in Plane View

Great post this morning on Three Minds @ Organic. In it, there is one of the most succinct and spot on definition of leadership I've encountered:

"We got honest communication from the person in charge. Leadership is the reduction of uncertainty in organizations, and it comes from clear messages, which lead to focused actions."

We have all heard the stories of JetBlue passengers sitting on the tarmac for as much as 10 hours without explanation. The author of this post had a very different experience. In fact, he ranks the experience, having to wait nearly 100 minutes, as exceptional. Why, you ask?

Apparently, JetBlue has made some important changes in how they communicate with their customers in situations such as this. The pilot communicated the situation clearly--there would be a wait of 100 minute, the cabin would be made as comfortable as possible, the beverage service would begin, and electronic devices could be used. The pilot went so far as to offer his cell in case someone needed to make other arrangements. And, here is the best part, the pilot offered the option of de-boarding and returning at the appropriate time (unheard of in my experience.)

While this might still be a frustrating occurrence, at least the passengers understood the situation. The pilot addressed the uncertainty by providing clear choices to the passengers. Communicating clearly and providing options are necessary ways to involve your customer in the solution. If the customer is involved, the solution will be satisfactory.

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