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Leadership Commitment Demonstrated by Action

It is interesting to examine how leaders demonstrate interest in and commitment to their companies where actions more than words are important and engaging with products, customers, and/or employees is paramount.

At one time, senior executives buying shares in a publicly traded company was perceived as a gesture of belief in the business. Some leaders went further, making it a priority to get closer to their consumers and the products they sell.

One of my fast-food restaurant chain clients required all C-Suite executives to spend time in their outlets cooking, cleaning, and taking customer orders.

While doing action learning workshops for a major automobile manufacturer I learned the CEO drove a different model car delivered off the assembly line each week. He wanted to learn firsthand what the customer experience will be like.

Recently I read that Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has taken his commitment to another level. He says he will live FULL-TIME in Airbnb properties, “I’ll be staying in a different town or city every couple of weeks.” From a business perspective the move is also seen as a furthering of Airbnb’s commitment to remote work arrangements that are a boost to the company’s long-term rental business.

In a recent Strategy+Business review of James Heskett’s new book, “Win from Within: Build Organizational Culture for Competitive Advantage” Theodore Kinni included this quote from the book, “There is little point in trying to create and maintain a competitive culture without a leader’s belief, enthusiasm, and passion.”

What examples have you seen where senior executives visibly demonstrated commitment to their companies?

-Photo from Airbnb’s latest TV ad campaign, “Strangers aren’t strange.”

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