Thursday Thought Leadership Roundup: Keeping it Simple, The Social CEO, and the Future of Reputation

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Arwen Heredia

by
May 15, 2014

In this week’s thought leadership roundup, we explore the power of simple messages, newly social CEOs, and why the future of your reputation is contingent on how you build it, not what you build it on.

Is Simple Thought Leadership as Valuable as Something Elaborate?

From Giana Consulting:

“Personally I love simplicity and I appreciate it when it flows out of others. I learn faster, I leverage the new knowledge faster, and I retain it longer. And yet, I’ve struggled to value simplicity when it flows out of me.

When I transitioned from being a Youth Director to the business world I worried:  

  • That I would not be sophisticated enough.

And then I started reading Blanchard’s leadership fables. They were simple, easy to understand, and quickly increased my knowledge and my passion for business, leadership and service.

When I wanted to build a highly engaged team that would make an extraordinary difference, I hoped that an uncommon approach would unleash that dream.

Their results and energy exceeded my wildest dreams.”

Our take: Many a would-be thought leader relies on over-explanation to get their point across, using fluff to bolster a lack of actual knowledge. The fact is, when someone is clearly trying very hard to position themselves a certain way, it’s a major red flag — and more often than not, a great reason to question their motives.

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The Social Imperative for CEOs

From Weber Shandwick:

“In a newly released study, Weber Shandwick found that a majority of executives want their CEOs to be utilizing social media. The reasons for this are myriad, but centered around three main themes: communication, reputation, and business results. Weber Shandwick worked with its partner KRC Research to survey 630 senior professionals from around the world. 76% of executives think it is a good idea for CEOs to be social. Social media use on the part of CEOs is essential because it allows them to narrate their company news. Whether it’s on the company website, blog, or on their own personal social media channels, the very act of telling the story empowers them to exert a high degree of influence over the discussion surrounding their company, both internally and externally, as well as engage with employees and the general public.”

Our take: CEOs are under intense pressure to be thought leaders in their industries, and one surefire way to put your expertise on display for the world is via social channels. The problem is that being impossibly busy is part of the job description, and many CEOs don’t have the proper time, support, and resources to contribute valuable TL to their markets. Unfortunately, those markets may not be all that forgiving. BONUS: this piece includes a video and an infographic!

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The Future of Reputation is about Building from the Inside Out

From MSL Group:

“You’ve managed people, and led them – so have we. We don’t need convincing of the impact of ‘employee engagement’ because we experience it firsthand almost every day. Forget the terse business definitions, you can see ‘engagement’ in someone’s eyes, their body language, the things they say; and you can measure it in anything from their attendance record to their sales figures.

These tangible outcomes of ‘employee engagement’ have equally tangible implications for corporate reputations. As shared personal experiences become the dominant currency of reputation, so the shared experiences of employees, and the people they interact with, continue to grow in value.”

Our take: Can we get an amen? The way this author approaches the subject of reputation building and its very important connection to strategic business initiatives is intelligent, candid, and very clear. Taking his advice = harnessing more fantastic opportunities, regardless of the type of organization you work for.

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