I want to thank Jeannette Paladino for writing this guest post for me. While this is about blogging, the thing that popped out for me is that this is a wonderful post for leaders. Just look at what she says is at the heart of trust, and a blog is a great way to build that trust.
Thank-you Jeannette for your wisdom (as always!)
Why I Blog and What is Stands For
Write Speak Sell
This is a blog I probably should have written when I first started out. I was chatting with a group of bloggers the other day and one of them, Bea Fields, asked us a simple question: “Why do you blog?”
Seems simple enough to come up with an answer. But as I was thinking about it she quickly followed up with another question “How do we blog to effect change?” Now this was getting really serious. I asked myself: is that why I’m blogging? To bring about change? So I looked back at my blogs, which are almost all about the importance of communication, and I realized that’s what I’m trying to do. I want companies and individuals to become better communicators because when they are, great things can happen.
I’ve taken particular aim at CEOs because a leader can profoundly influence the company’s future success if he can get employees to buy into his vision. But employees can’t follow a CEO who doesn’t communicate with them regularly with his goals for them and the company. I’ve called for the CEO to be the Chief Communications Officer, because that’s what she needs to be. The CEO has to be talking directly to the company’s stakeholders regularly with quick takes on new developments. Wise leaders are using social media because that’s where employees are building communities. Why not ask those employees to become the company’s brand advocates?
Once again, I cite Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, as the pioneer. One of his credos is that things should be a little “weird” in the company. So weird becomes their normal. Nothing strange about 431 Zappos’ employees on Twitter. Just think of the good will being sown among the many customers and potential customers who are following Tony Hsieh (735,000+) and all those employee tweets. He has the absolute trust of his employees because he trusts them to represent the company well.
Bottom line, I want to see what I call a Culture of Communication for every company Trust is at its core. All communications must be reliable, truthful and contain the full story. At the heart of trust is:
Openness – there must be an unwavering commitment to and support of a healthy two-way communications environment
Simplicity – communications must be clear, meaningful and accessible
Consistency – messages should support the company’s plan and be communicated on a regular basis
Caring – you must foster concern for the individual
So this is why I blog and what I stand for: I want to change the way companies communicate to their stakeholders: employees, shareholders, customers, the media and general public. I want the communications to be more authentic, meaningful, consistent and caring. I don’t think that’s too much to hope for..