Category Archives: Small Business

United Airlines: Every Day is a Job Interview

United Airlines recent viral video of a passenger being removed from a flight reminds us: Every day is a job interview, a chance to gain or lose customers.

Like many of you, I watched the video of the United Airlines passenger being dragged off a flight with horror and sadness. It was an awful scene, and for those of you who have not heard the story, here are the basics… passengers had boarded a flight in Chicago, bound for Louisville. It was a full flight, but United needed to get four of its employees on board. United offered flight vouchers to anyone who voluntarily got off the flight. No one volunteered. So they randomly chose four people, one of whom refused.

The video that has been posted on social media does NOT show what happened in the early stages of the conversation between the passenger who was refusing, and flight attendants. We have no idea if the person was abusive and rude, quietly respectful, or anything in between. The video picks up after an altercation had already begun between the passenger and several security officers, who had been called onto the flight. The video of the ensuing altercation is tough to watch. The passenger is screaming, bloodied, and gets literally dragged by his wrists up the aisle and off the plane.

This video will be terrible for United Airlines, and soon after another recent PR disaster over passenger clothing. It will hurt United deeply, on the bottom line and the stock price. And as I was watching this video, I was thinking about our own business here at The Latimer Group. This video should make you think about yours. Because our relationship with our customers is tenuous, always. Every day, every interaction is a job interview, and a chance to gain or lose customers. United can have a great year, get nothing but great reviews, have full flights, be at the top of their game. And then something like this can undo a thousand good things, in a matter of moments. And not just for United. For your company and mine as well.

We have always lived in a customer-centric world. But the stakes have never been higher, and successful customer engagement never harder. Why? Because people have choice. They have information. They share information with each other. And everything can get posted on line and onto social media in a matter of moments. This is a terrible story, no question. But if it happened in 2002 instead of 2017, there would be no viral video posted on YouTube, which makes the whole thing so much more real, and so much more shareable.

Every day is a job interview. Every meeting you have, every interaction, every phone call, every conversation, is a chance to gain or lose customers, brand, and marketshare. Don’t forget this reality, ever.

Good luck, and have a great day.

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at

Help Wanted: E-Learning Specialist (Wallingford, CT Area)

The Latimer Group is busier now than we’ve ever been! We’re growing, and we need to expand our team. We’re looking for someone outstanding who can embody our fingerprints and help us bring them to life every day as our eLearning Specialist. The Position The eLearning Specialist will help us expand our digital learning capabilities to enhance… Continue Reading

What Happens When “The Plan” Falls Through?

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson People love to plan. Everyone has a plan. You can’t do anything in today’s world without a plan. But having a plan is only part of the equation… and I would say it is the easy part. The harder part of… Continue Reading

10 Time Management Tips to Create Better Communication

Simple idea today, that recently came up in a coaching session. My colleagues and I talk all the time about great communication skills, and all the things that help create those skills. We believe that when we take the time to prepare for our meetings, presentations and calls, we will do a much better job… Continue Reading

Leadership Tips: When to Debate, When to Dictate

I’m working with an executive right now who has an interesting and engaging leadership style. He likes to collaborate, he likes dialogue, he wants to hear what people have to say. He allows lots of input, and seems to detest strict hierarchy. I like this style, actually, because it is similar to my own. But… Continue Reading

End Annoying Conference Calls in 5 Easy Steps

We’ve all been to THIS conference call… too many times in fact. While Tripp and Tyler absolutely nail the inherent comedy in the ways we conduct conference calls, let’s take the conversation to the next level. How do we run better conference calls? Here are a few simple ideas: 1. Set context and get the… Continue Reading

The Global Need for Respect

During the past year of client work, we’ve spent time with professionals from over 25 different countries… busy, ambitious, successful, intelligent professionals. They worked in finance, engineering, marketing, communications, procurement, and all sorts of leadership and management positions. Our client base is certainly a diverse group! And any time we have an intense period of… Continue Reading

The Sad Truth of “Post-Truth”

Last week I had a conversation with a long-time friend and business partner, Mary Ann. And she shared with me that the Oxford Dictionaries has selected “post-truth” as 2016’s international word of the year, after the contentious Brexit referendum and an equally divisive US presidential election caused usage of the adjective to skyrocket, according to… Continue Reading

Can (and Should) You Be Friends with Colleagues?

Here’s a challenging one, with no easy answer. Do you make your work life harder if you become friends (non-romantically) with a colleague or colleagues? Does it become harder to do your job when your professional relationships are overlaid with personal friendships? I think the answer is “maybe.” Adding a personal component to a professional… Continue Reading

Find the Joy in Your Work

My colleagues and I talk frequently about this blog… how we should use it, what we should write about, how much to share with our readers. And the vast majority of the time, we default to straight business topics, with real anecdotes from real experiences with our clients. This is a business blog, first and… Continue Reading

All content © 2016-2017

The Latimer Group, LLC
350 Center Place
Suite 203
Wallingford, CT 06492
Phone: 203.265.4344