I was reminded today of some information I read a few months ago about President Obama. Apparently his correspondence director makes sure that Obama sees 10 letters or emails every day from average Americans. Some of these letters are positive and some negative but they are clear reminders of how Americans are suffering and thriving today. President Obama also reads them aloud at certain meetings when he looks around and notices that people are losing touch with the common man or woman. I am sure they come in handy.
When I wrote my first book on CEO reputation (CEO Capital), I mentioned a CEO who started every weekly management meeting with a tape recording from a call center where people complained about the company’s service. The CEO felt that it was important to remind his team that there was still plenty of room for improvement. The Obama example above is similar to the company CEO one I told.
I think that this act of customer awareness is a practice that could help many CEOs who sometimes forget that the purpose of a business is to create a customer, to quote from the late Peter Drucker.
Both presidential and CEO leadership needs to be reminded who they serve to safely steer their country or company reputations in the right direction, especially in these tough times.