Best Practice

Key actions for the CEO’s First 100 Days (Part 1)

search for ceo first 100 daysA friend gave me a birthday gift of a small computer accessory bag with a drawing on it of a vampy 1950’s gal batting her eyes and saying, “The key word is … alleged.”

In this century, the term ”keyword” has a different meaning and is intended to draw eyes to a website or other online platform. There’s a science developing that helps predict the most effective combination of words you should use to get your site noticed.

The website offers you a free tool to analyze and design the terms to best attract readers to look at a particular page. It evens tells you how many people are searching for those terms and how great the competition is for those keywords. Competition is defined as how many people are bidding on those adwords.

So the ”sweet spot” is finding the terminology that many people are searching for but few websites are providing. Then you can place those words in prominent positions on your own page and capture more eyes.

Here are some examples:

  • The keywords ”leadership skills,” with a competition score of 0.63 out of 1.00, appears on a large number of sites; but each month, 246,000 people globally are searching for that term.
  • On the other hand, ”chief executive” has few competitors with a score of 0.11 and 301,000 global monthly searches.

Those two examples were more clear cut than this next one:

  • The term ”CEO first 100 days” has low competition with 0.09 and only 260 monthly global searches. But if you’re a thought leader in, say, CEO transition planning, one of those 260 people might be your next client.

In fact, that’s why I chose that those terms as the title for this blog — planning for a CEO’s first 100 days is one of the services that Thought Leader Zone offers. So hopefully someone searching for help with that challenge will find me.

To summarize, it’s not just a matter of getting a large number of eyes but of getting the right eyes. Using keywords and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques will help you find ”the riches in the niches.”

Are you optimizing your social media platforms? Are you helping potential clients and customers find your needle in the haystack? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!

Related Post: Communications Planning for the CEO’s first 100 Days (Part 2)

Being a Social CEO–At Least Virtually (Part 2)

think about the impact thought leaders can make with social media

In Part 1–”Being a Social CEO–Literally”– I discussed the perils of being a shy, introverted “un-social” senior executive and mentioned that Thought Leader Zone offers guidance for maximizing your impact in a range of face-to-face social situations.

But it’s also important to be a “social CEO” virtually…and we can help you with that, too. You need to be able to connect and interact comfortably in the virtual world, as well as in the real world. As the “face” of your company, you need to be able to interface effectively even when you’re not face-to-face.

Some of the do’s and don’ts for virtual interactions are similar to those for face-to-face interfaces:

  • Don’t shout (with all capitalized words)
  • Do use words people can understand
  • Do find and use your authentic voice
  • Don’t talk (blog or Twitter, etc.) unless you have something meaningful to say
  • Do listen to what others have to say
  • Etc., etc., etc.
Basically, just follow the rules of social politeness and good manners your mom taught you…

But to be a great communicator on social media you need to follow a few more tailored guidelines:

  • Communicate on a regular basis — more often when you have something to say and less often if you don’t. Don’t be a slave to a schedule.
  • Adopt a tone that reflects your personality, not just conveys content.
  • Use diction more suited to a chat room than a boardroom.
  • Make sure you have a point to make and make sure it isn’t self-serving.
  • Use personal stories to illustrate key ideas.
  • Have an opinion.
  • Be brief and concise.
  • Respond respectively to legitimate positive and negative feedback as quickly as possible.
  • Show rather than tell. Offer advice rather than issue orders or tell people what to do.
Finally, a recent article, Are You a Social Executive? The CEO’s New Role in Social Media by Margery Myers of Bates Communications explains that CEOs who have mastered social media do the following things right:
  • “understand that to anyone outside their immediate family and friends, they are the company;
  • stay close to public sentiment;
  • build strong relationships before they need them;
  • don’t ‘wing’ it.”
Are you ”doing things right” when it comes to social media? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!

See related posts:
Part 1: Being a Social CEO–Literally
Part 3: Do Keep Up!

Your Thought Leader Quotient: Do you know how you rate?

thought leadership self assessment testWhat’s your IQ, EQ, BQ or MQ? A recent Forbes article looked at all of these different characteristics of good leaders…a high Intelligence Quotient, of course, as well as a high Emotional Quotient, Body Quotient and Moral Quotient. Click here to read the article.

According to the author, Keld Jensen, a less-educated leader with a more fully developed EQ, BQ, and MQ can be more successful than someone who is well educated but lacks those other capabilities.

I, of course, would add to that list of acronyms another key trait for professional success: TLQ. What’s your Thought Leader Quotient?

If you aren’t sure, take this brief, anonymous test. Ask, assess, then act.

Photo credit: Marco Bellucci on Flickr

10 Questions to Answer Before a Communication Crisis Hits your Organization

Do you have a pre-defined communications plan in place for a management or organizational crisis? Goldman Sachs’ handling of a recent crisis stirred up by disgruntled senior manager Greg Smith can be considered a PR ‘worst-practice’ crisis communications case. The company’s reactions and responses to a scathing editorial the departing employee wrote for the New York Times were underwhelming; their communications response was not just ineffective; it actually added fuel to the fire and made the situation worse.

Hopefully, you won’t ever have to deal with such a public debacle. But you still need to be prepared because $&?!#% always happens. Always.

When a crisis comes, are you and your team prepared to deal not only with the situation itself, but also with the related internal and external communications issues that arise?

By answering these ten questions, you will have the beginnings of a robust crisis communications plan that will ensure you’re prepared to face a communications crisis quickly, effectively and professionally:

10 questions to ask before a communications crisis hits your organization:

  1. What’s the overview of the process and does everyone on the management team know it, not only the communications team?
  2. Do your managers all have a one-page quick guide to do’s and don’ts for crisis communications?
  3. Do your managers have a generic flow chart outlining who does what when?
  4. Do your managers have some generic wording for informing clients about a crisis that can be tailored to the specific situation?
  5. Do your managers have a list of ‘taboo phrases’ to avoid in a crisis?
  6. 6. Do your managers have a list of generic statements to give internal audiences when crisis details aren’t yet known?
  7. Do your managers have a list of generic statements to adapt for internal audiences in the hours, days and weeks following a crisis?
  8. Do your managers have a list of holding statements for journalists that can be adapted to the specific crisis?
  9. Do your managers have a list of polite ‘no response’ phrases to answer journalists who ask sensitive or confidential questions?
  10. Do your managers have a template and process for collecting questions being asked by employees, clients, investors or journalists?

And one final (but important) question: Do the right people in your organization have the right answers to these questions? Ask, assess, then act.

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Test Yourself Now: Take the Thought Leadership Self Assessment

take a thought leadership self testAt Thought Leader Zone, We frequently suggest that you ask, assess, then act; but remember, there is an absolute order to this process.

We have an easy way for you to get started. Click the link below for a quick 10 question survey designed to pinpoint where your thought leadership strengths and weaknesses lie and to help you assess where you need to be.

The results of the self-assessment are private and confidential. You don’t need to supply your name or other information, and we can’t see what you scored. Of course, if you’d like to assess your score in detail or learn more about what the results mean, just contact us. We’re ready to help with a free consultation.

Survey: What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

New Year 2012 for thought leadersLet’s assume you have made all the usual New Year’s resolutions: exercise more, eat better, get more sleep, etc. But what will be on your 2012 list of Thought Leader Resolutions? Read more business books? Join more trade associations or take a more visible leadership role in the ones where you already belong? Check the Thought Leader Zone website more frequently?

Submit some of your thought-leadership resolutions on the form below, and we’ll compile a best-practice (or should that be best-promise) list of your ideas!

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