Study after study has shown that ‘communication’ is rated as a more important skill for leaders than ever before. Communication prowess has become a critical asset for CEOs.
At the same time, digital has become the key driver of almost all public domain communication. Polls prove that social media has become the top threat to a leader’s image.
Unfortunately many leaders are struggling with digital disruption and they have not become comfortable telling their story using social media.
Many risk-averse bosses are afraid of making social media mistakes, and they don’t want to look dumb about digital in front of their subordinates.
Their absence from social media creates an information vacuum where too many top people are not effectively communicating in a way that enhances reputation and builds trust in their leadership.
Meanwhile, inside many organizations, social media has been commandeered by marketing staff who are using digital to sell stuff to consumers and focusing on metrics like ‘reach.’
It’s obviously fine and dandy to use online channels for marketing, but nowadays brands are expected to communicate like people. So what about social media for the corporate communication of the c-suite executives who personify the company?
For leaders, social media should be about public relationships with stakeholders, custom connectivity and listening with real people, understanding their emotions, channeling their ideas, sensing their sentiments, rallying them to shared purposes.
It won’t be too long before social media savvy becomes a CEO job requirement, so now is the time to invest resources in the leadership communication function. This will serve you well, and ensure that you won’t become one of those leaders who learns about social media the hard way by making needless mistakes when inevitable crisis situations occur.
Overall what we have here is a ‘social’ communication skills gap, and an opportunity for executives to leverage digital media to signal their leadership to all the people important to their success.
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Signal Leadership Communication Inc.is a public relations consultancy helping CEOs communicate convincingly in an age of digital disruption.
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