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JetBlue’s Attempt to Serve Stakeholder Interests During a Winter Storm: Introduction

JetBlue’s Attempt to Serve Stakeholder Interests During a Winter Storm: Introduction

In the following collection of activities, you will learn how JetBlue leadership engaged their various stakeholder groups as the Valentine’s Day Massacre winter storm crisis of 2007 played out. As you read through these descriptions, consider the following objectives that illustrate what high stakes leaders should be attempting to accomplish with stakeholders during a crisis. What specifically did JetBlue leaders do to: acknowledge stakeholder concerns; communicate their plans to each; and attempt to preserve their faith in the company’s ability to deal with adversity and deserve their continued loyalty?

Ultimately, this is the continuing story of how a company demonstrated the value of effective stakeholder management during and after a crisis. While some of the ideas presented here will seem quite common-sensical, the harsh reality for many company leaders is that they will find themselves in a crisis situation without having dedicated the time to truly understanding their stakeholders and building relationships with them before a crisis strikes. When this happens, leaders at a company discover that they have no trust capital to fall back on – no previously established sense of confidence from stakeholders who are now crafting their own narrative about what they should, but probably won’t, hear and see from a company in crisis. This is not where crisis leaders want to begin their recovery efforts.

Crisis leaders don’t want to be initiating a dialogue at the onset of a crisis – they want to be continuing it. For any leader looking to begin their preparation efforts for a potential future crisis, there is no better place to start than with a clear understanding of each stakeholder’s interests and with a solid relationship that has already been established – with a dialogue that has already commenced. In the following steps, you’ll see how JetBlue leaders were able to take advantage of the work they had already done to build their capacity for resilience.

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High Stakes Leadership: Leading in Times of Crisis

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