The Rise of the Social CEOBy Irwin Liu on July 18, 2012 in The Future of Work
Historically CEOs have been slow to embrace social media due to the perceived risks. But with advent of social tools for the enterprise, top leaders are embracing “social” to bring their organizations performance to the next level.
Here are six key behaviors social CEOs employ to drive alignment, commitment and learning:
1. Be the first to set your goals
That way others have an inspiring, big-picture goal as an anchor for their own goals and a gold-standard example to emulate. Bringing visibility to company goals through a social platform not only drives alignment, but also greater business agility.
As business conditions change or competitors make big moves, you’ll need to adjust your strategy or priorities. And making those adjustments visible allows you course-correct rapidly.
2. Ask for feedback
As the CEO, it can be difficult to get honest, constructive feedback. In a recent HBR article, contributing editor Amy Gallo shared why it’s important to get it and how to get feedback when you’re the boss.
The higher up in the organization you get, the less likely you’ll receive constructive feedback on your ideas, performance, or strategy… But without input, your development will suffer, you may become isolated, and you’re likely to miss out on hearing some great ideas.
Check out our post How to Get Feedback When You’re the Boss for five great tips.
3. Ask for updates on goals
Take the time each week to review goals in your organization. Commenting on them and asking for updates is a lightweight way of showing that people’s objectives get executive visibility and motivates people to keep them up-to-date.
The big impact of goals come not from the setting of the goal, but from consistently working towards them. So use your social platforms to drive consistency and accountability through transparency.
4. Get a snapshot of what’s going on
Review the activity, progress and updates of your company at large, not just your exec team. It will give you a sense of the alignment in your organization and help you figure out where to spend your time.
If your strategy is pointed in one direction and people’s efforts are pointed in another, do you need to adjust your strategy, your people or both? Use social platforms to get an unfiltered view to make an informed decision.
5. Provide executive recognition
Everyone responds to a simple “thanks,” but when it comes from the CEO it’s that much more meaningful, particularly if you personalize your messages and deliver them in public.
Highly engaged employees are 22% more productive and “trust in leadership” is one of the most powerful motivators of the nine intangible elements of work that rank higher than salary or perks.
6. Stick with it
In Marshall Goldsmith’s Leadership is a Contact Sport he demonstrates that your ability to follow-up is the biggest determinant of your ability to effect change in your organization. So these are behaviors that you need to consistently stick to in order to have a real impact.
“For most leaders, the great challenge is not understanding the practice of leadership: It is practicing their understanding of leadership.”
This post is part of The Future of Work, a series exploring the changing nature of work through articles, interactive media, and social discussion.