What Barack Obama can teach us about customer engagement

The former president took time out to listen to people individually. That's as applicable in business as in politics, says customer experience expert Steven Van Belleghem.

by Steven Van Bellegham

I recently had the honour of speaking at the Forward Thinking Leadership conference in Amsterdam, shortly before Barack Obama took the stage.

The former US president talked at length about his own views on leadership and how he worked to create a movement of hope and change. What I found particularly interesting, however, were the parallels he drew between customer engagement principles and his daily routine in the White House.

Escaping the bubble

Every day that President Obama was in office, he made a point to put some time aside to end his day by reading ten letters that members of the public had sent to him. Of course, he probably received hundreds or even thousands of letters on a daily basis, but he asked his team to pick out a representative sample for him to read personally.

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