Transparency Is Always Better: Three Strategies For CEOs To Stay On The Offensive by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

Serebral360° found a great read by Forbes – Entrepreneurs article, “Transparency Is Always Better: Three Strategies For CEOs To Stay On The Offensive.”

Add another layer to your #Business literacy. We at Serebral360° would love to know if the Forbes – Entrepreneurs article was helpful, leave a comment, like and share. Let’s dive in and discuss the information and put it to use to grow your business. #BusinessStrategy #ContentMarketing #WebDevelopment #BrandStrategy
Info@serebral360.com 762.333.1807 www.serebral360.com
Grap a copy of our Strategy Books 👉 CLICK HERE FOR VOL1 and 👉 CLICK HERE FOR VOL2

Making mistakes is a part of life. Live long enough and you will make them — several, in fact. Mistakes are often magnified for CEOs because their mistakes can impact the whole business and/or because leaders are held under a microscope. Successful people are those who don’t wallow in their mistakes, but instead take action to lessen the impact and fix what is salvageable.

Author Charles R. Swindoll famously said that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. I’ve learned that this also holds true for business. At my company, a growth strategy firm for CEOs, we’ve had a few occasions where the initial messaging we focused on for a client didn’t work. Instead of making up excuses, it has always been our philosophy to be honest with the client, make strategic adjustments and shift the message to get results.

The good news is it’s never too late to reshape your brand, and using the three tips below is a great starting point.

Prioritize transparency.

When mistakes happen, people can take one of two stances: They go on the offense, or they try to rebound in the defense.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took the smart route by going on the offense. During his heated divorce from his wife of 25 years, National Enquirer’s parent company American Media attempted extortion and blackmail. Instead of taking a defensive stance and paying them what they demanded, he went on the offense, stating, “I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.”

While mistakes often represent mistakes in judgment or lapses in character, going on the offense allows you to maintain some control. Consumers often admire the honesty it takes for a CEO to admit to their wrongdoings in a timely and transparent manner, instead of waiting to get discovered.

However, not every CEO makes the smart decision of admitting when they have messed up. In April 2018, United Airlines forcibly removed a man from an overbooked flight. The violent video went viral, and it wasn’t until the airline was called out that the CEO issued a statement. The CEO caused further outrage by first describing the incident as having to “re-accommodate” customers. The United CEO sought to do the minimum and hoped the issue would go away, which resulted in negative perception of the brand and consumers calling out his callous tone.

From the two scenarios above, it’s evident that those who are transparent with their mistakes and do the work to authentically fix them will be able to move on with little interruption to their company’s growth. Mistakes are costly for those who choose a defensive stance because people today expect transparency. It’s no longer nice to have, but instead it’s a must-have.

Embark on a CEO branding strategy.

Business isn’t just business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) anymore. It is increasingly becoming human to human (H2H). People often mistakenly think of CEO branding as an exercise in vanity — and given some of the personalities that embark on this journey, you can see how one could arrive at that conclusion. However, CEO branding is really about recognizing that the CEO is the chief storyteller and that emotionally connecting with their audience builds trust, demonstrates differentiation and generates more organic interest in the brand.

Tesla’s early advertising budget was virtually zero, and its strategy consisted primarily of Elon Musk discussing how cool Tesla was on various interviews and YouTube. In the midst of the financial crisis, what saved JPMorgan from even more ridicule was the positive reputation of Jamie Dimon.

The main focus of CEO branding is the process of getting the correct message in front of your target audience by using a strategic blend of the following avenues: brand strategy, social media, publishing, speaking engagements and savvy public relations. When done correctly, you can talk about your brand during interviews and receive organic media coverage that is worth more and lives longer than traditional advertising, which is often viewed with skepticism. The key is to speak from your heart about your brand as more than just a business — it is your life’s passion. That authenticity will be recognized by the consumer.

Align your CEO brand with company culture.

Speaking of CEO branding, Blake Mycoskie is a great example. The CEO and founder of TOMS has a heart for giving back. Since 2006, his company has donated tens of millions of pairs of shoes to children in need with the “sell a pair of shoes, give a pair away” campaign.

We’ve established that his brand is centered around helping others and creating a community that gives back. So, what would happen if a customer called to be part of the giving back movement and was met with a bad attitude, lousy customer service or poor quality merchandise? It’s extremely important for the image a CEO portrays to filter throughout the customer’s entire experience — from the first interaction to the last.

CEO branding is like NASCAR. You have high-performing cars and efficient pit crews, but the differentiator is the driver. And just as a driver knows the strength of their car and pit crew, a CEO must know the strengths of their company and team inside and out and seek alignment from there. Their unique voice and brand must be aligned across the entire team when it comes to PR, social media and even publishing opportunities. That alignment accelerates trust.

CEOs should make a point to implement the three strategies above. When mistakes occur, and they will, their companies will be able to recover faster and stay competitive in their fields. 

April 30, 2019 at 09:25AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2019/04/30/transparency-is-always-better-three-strategies-for-ceos-to-stay-on-the-offensive/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/
http://bit.ly/2CMy7Yu