Behind every great organization lies one extremely important person: the CEO. Here at Blu Ivy Group, we have had the opportunity to meet and work with some amazing and inspiring CEOs. What we have seen is that the attitude and direction of an organization’s head directly impacts the tone of the entire company. Exemplar leadership is rooted in a CEOs firm understanding of their company’s EVP and their ability to put the values behind that EVP into practice each and every day. We have taken a look at some of today’s leading CEOs for the do’s (and don’ts) of leading an exceptional organization.
Utilize Social Media
By now, most companies have caught on to the trend of having an active and creative social media presence as a great way to raise awareness and garner a positive following. But what every exceptional CEO knows is that their own personal profiles are just as crucial. Virgin Groups founder and CEO Richard Branson uses his Twitter actively every day, showing that his status as one of the world’s leading company heads doesn’t change the fact that he likes to relate to both his employees and the public. With over 9 million followers, Branson is able to draw attention to a wide variety of Virgin’s initiatives (like the photo he recently tweeted of him and some employees at Virgin Start Up’s event in support of women entrepreneurs), while also showing that he personally cares about the impact his companies are making. By using a personal social media, CEOs can show how they apply their organization’s EVP in their own lives, inspiring others to do the same.
Beyond social media, reaching out to employees on a personal level is highly important as a CEO. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi understood the need for a personal touch when she returned to her hometown in India after earning her high powered position, finding that visitors to her family home congratulated her parents just as much as her. She realized that being raised by her mother and father helped her succeed, which inspired her to start an initiative at PepsiCO to thank employees’ parents. Nooyi interviewed employees about their experiences growing up, and sent personalized letters to their families to let them know how that employee was doing at PepsiCo, thanking the family for their role in getting their child there. The letters made her employees feel appreciated and their families feel proud. As a CEO, taking the time to get to know employees is vital for overall worker satisfaction, and shows that the leader cares for the personal success of individual, not just the success of the company as a whole.
Listen to Employees
Not every CEO shows great leadership, even if they are financially successful. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has stirred up his fair share of controversy in the short time the company has been active, most recently getting caught on video verbally attacking an employee for complaining that Uber fares were going down. As Kalanick surely realizes since the video has gone viral, a CEO approaching internal conflict with an aggressive attitude will do nothing but tarnish both their own and their company’s reputation. Keeping in mind their organization’s values, CEOs should always approach employee problems with a level-headed and understanding attitude. Communicating calmly and clearing with workers will earn respect and solve conflict in a simpler, all-around better way.
A mark of a great CEO is that they practice what their company preaches as its values. At Blu Ivy Group, we believe that a strong CEO is relatable, cares about their employees, understands their organization’s EVP, and works daily to improve personally in order to continually improve their company overall.
About Blu Ivy Group
Blu Ivy Group is a leading employer branding and employee engagement consultancy that aligns your organization with contemporary workplace paradigms. Blu Ivy Group’s mission is to help client’s build award-winning people practices, inspire extraordinary employee engagement, and cultivate unique and desirable workplaces.
We provide integrated solutions in employer brand and engagement research, strategic consulting, employer brand integration, creative and talent communications. Blu Ivy Group is a trusted partner to many of North America’s most respected employer brands. For more information, go to www.bluivygroup.com