Thought Leadership. CEOs will need to demonstrate their expertise in niche areas in the digital sphere. Similar to writing a personalized Monday mass email in which he outlines the company’s growth and challenges in relation to the economy, the CEO is now expected to share his expansive knowledge beyond the confines of the company’s walls through Twitter feeds or LinkedIn posts. By sharing his thoughts digitally, the CEO is mentoring and coaching the masses, which asserts his authority as a subject-matter expert and as an influential leader.
Personal Branding. The growing trend is to show a more personal side to the salt and pepper haired man in an expensive suit and tie, whether showcasing his passion for deep sea fishing on a public Instagram account or displaying humanness and the ability to relate through everyday life events in a blog post. A personal brand is the CEO’s trademark. While the masses of employees he leads often view him as the serious and busy man in a black jacket, they should also perceive him as the fisherman or the vintage car aficionado. While it might be uncomfortable to mesh the professional and personal persona initially, in the long-run it actually curates a multi-dimensional character, cultivating a platinum level trademark and authentic self. Which brings me to the last point.
Storytelling. Every great CEO or executive should learn to tell an engaging and colorful story well. Many CEOs write off anecdotes as fluff – they’d rather cut to the chase. However, anecdotes are one of the most underutilized storytelling techniques in business communications. Anecdotes connect listeners and instill trust and belief that the story rings true. A great story has the ability to not only personalize the speaker, but to also connect the listeners in a collaborative way, especially the ones he is leading.