Add an Empty Chair

We know it’s hard to stay focused on all the stakeholders in your bank or small business. Shareholders, employees, customers, prospects, media, the marketplace – it’s quite a juggling act keeping them all top of mind when you’re making decisions, addressing challenges and driving successful initiatives.

According to Daniel Pink, Jeff Bezos from Amazon includes an empty chair in all his important meetings –“It’s there to remind those assembled who’s really the most important person in the room: the customer.” 

As you know, competition is getting tougher and your best customers are being courted by your competition all the time. You know you make wiser decisions when your team thoroughly discusses the customer impact of any decisions you make, especially how customers will feel about you. Having the visible reminder of an empty chair around the table will help you keep your customers top of mind – and reminds your team that it’s their responsibility to focus on the customer whenever discussing decisions that will impact them. An alternative approach might be to assign one or two team members to stand in for the customer – that way, you’re assured their “voice” is always in the room.

And make sure your decisions will ultimately make your customers feel more valued and appreciated – especially the ones you really really want to keep.

Just try it at a meeting when a customer is not present. Add an empty chair as a very tangible reminder of the impact of your decisions and please email me at and let me know if it made a difference.

If you want help with understanding how your customers feel and how that impacts your bottom line please contact me at 303-795-3539 or


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