Should CEOs blog?

UberCEOThis seems to be a decade-old question since the inception of weblog and the wider spread of blogging during 1999.

Whenever I’m asked whether a company should have a CEO blog, images of the CEOs I’ve worked with would flow into my mind. My response is always: yes for some but no for others.

I’ve worked with a handful of CEOs over the last eight years, mostly in roles with direct accountability. In working alongside them, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with their counterparts – CEOs in other companies. Most CEOs are open, visionary and inspirational. And some are particularly engaging and dynamic. They take time to listen to their staff and build strategies with full support from them. They inspire employees to become “little hearts” of the company and transform the workplace into Magic Kingdom – fun, professional and happening. (Type 1 CEOs)

But there are also CEOs who simply don’t engage or inspire. Their focus is on themselves and personal success. Their ideas and decisions come down on their staff like blazing fires – consuming everybody’s energy and focus. (Type 2 CEOs)

Type 1 CEOs should start blogging if they haven’t already, but I wouldn’t recommend Type 2 CEOs to blog because the voice of their blogs will come off the same way, burning off every bit of interest in their readers.

Why? Because blogs are powerful tools – they penetrate the deepest thoughts and enliven your thinking into visual images. Successful bloggers create positive images, empowering messages and empathetic viewpoints. The most popular blogs are always painfully honest, honestly incisive and incisively inspirational.

I have trouble reading CEO blogs that simply aren’t believable. Their tone and content tell me how interested they are in people’s lives and what other people are thinking. Yes, Seth Godin will tell you “no one cares about you” (they only care about what they’re going to get out of you). But if I’m reading your blog, I’d somewhat care about you as a person or the impact of what you’re saying will have on me and others. I may not be aware of your company or brand right away, but I’d certainly be aware of your tone, your actions and how your experience impacts my thinking about your company and brand.

Don’t just blog because you have to, be good blog material first.

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