7 Ways Blogging Makes You a Better Leader

blogging and leadership

I’ve realized so many business benefits from blogging and it has become one of my favorite things to talk about with leaders trying to figure out social media’s role in the enterprise. But beyond the tangible business benefits, there are also great personal benefits to help you become a stronger leader. This is why blogging and leadership go hand-in-hand:

1. Clarity

I believe that one of the most important elements of leadership is articulating a clear message to stakeholders. That is not always easy to do in a complex business world!

Taking time to write things out forces you to get really clear on what you need to say and how you need to say it, The act of re-writing helps you craft the message in a way that will be memorable.

There have been many times I have had an “a-ha” moment when writing a blog post. Certain explanations and phrases that started on the blog have now become important aspects of my lectures and speeches.

2. Feedback

Many times I use a blog post to test ideas. The comment section might help flesh out the concept, support it, or even refute it.

There is truth to the phrase “it’s lonely at the top.” Receiving feedback on a blog post can be a real gift for a leader who might be isolated or separated from employees by time zones and distance.

3. Authority

I have worked in and around large companies for decades. Technology may change, business opportunities may shift, but here is one constant — employees and other stakeholders hang on every word from the organization’s leader.

Consistent blogging can help you create an authoritative communication platform to help connect you to stakeholders even if you don’t have the time to make the rounds every day.

4. Trust

You can “manage” because you have a position on an organizational chart but you can only “lead” by establishing trust. I can’t imagine a better way to establish trust than by connecting with employees regularly through a blog.

Of course anything we write these days can (and probably will) go public but I still think there is room to connect in a very honest and open way that both builds trust and presents a professional view to the public.

5. Thought leadership

Very few corporate leaders blog. If you have the opportunity to establish yourself as the voice of your industry through a blog, why wouldn’t you grab that opportunity? This might end up being a very important part of your company’s branding efforts. Blog posts give you an opportunity for massive reach.

6. Managing through crisis

Nothing tries a leader more than a serious threat to the company. The problem is exacerbated when the issue becomes public and enters the world of soundbites and social media memes.

Having an established blog is the channel where you can tell the story YOUR way in a chaotic situation. More and more often I see company blogs cited as the definitive source of information in a crisis.

7. “You just never know …”

I often say that the business case for a strong social media presence is “you just never know.” Maybe that sounds touchy-feely, but it’s true!

Once you publish a blog post, you never quite know where it will lead. Will it …

  • Catch the eye of a potential new employee?
  • Create interest in an investor?
  • Lead to press coverage for your company?
  • Connect you to a new supplier?
  • Bring together people who can help solve a problem?
  • Inspire a new idea, product or service?
  • Strengthen business relationships?
  • Motivate a customer to do more business with you?

These benefits may not show up on a pie chart or a financial statement, but make no mistake — the vast random synergy of the web is always at work, cooking up new benefits and connections with every post we write.

You just never know!

Are you with me here? Can you see how blogging can help make you a more effective leader?

Illustration courtesy of Flickr CC and Liz West

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  • Great post Mark. Being a leader also means doing something a little “alien” and “uncomfortable” at times I think. In order to learn and grow…and for a lot of leaders at the top of companies blogging would certainly be considered alien or uncomfortable at first. Thanks for sharing!

  • Chris O’Byrne

    This goes perfectly with Michael Hyatt’s blog post from last week called “10 Reasons Every Leader Needs a Blog”. Both you and Michael are high on my list of virtual mentors. To save people from having to find Michael’s post, here is his list:

    To improve your communication skills.
    To create a repository for your best thinking.
    To provide thought leadership to your industry.
    To raise your organization’s visibility.
    To share your organization’s vision.
    To network with people who can help you.
    To build trust with prospective customers.
    To build authority in your niche.
    To gather feedback from your constituents.
    To mentor the next generation of leaders.

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  • I liked that you put clarity first. It is sometimes so hard to find. One of the problems with saying things is that you can’t control what people hear. Even if you think you’re clear, people hear based on their own experience. When you write it down, you open the way for clarity. It’s there, on paper or on the screen. Now we can talk about what we meant and what we didn’t…

    The problem comes when an industry deliberately uses dense writing. My husband’s industry is suspicious of clear, concise and easy to understand. No, he’s not a lawyer, he’s a geologist. It’s weird. He’s a great teacher and is involved in a program that introduces minority students to the sciences. He’s great at talking and teaching them, but when he has to do any peer writing, oh my goodness. I’m not sure if they know why they do it. It just “is.” LOL

  • Great post, Mark. In your discussion about blogging’s impact on thought leadership, you mention that very few corporate leaders blog. What have you found to be the greatest barriers keeping leaders from writing a blog as part of their leadership platform?

  • Linda

    Love this! I’m always surprised at how few companies use blogs to their advantage. These points are so good, I’ll be sharing them with our audience.

  • Great comment Mike. Thanks!

  • Oh gosh that is crazy. Michael is just down the road from me too. I would say his list is more complete than mine! Thanks very much for sharing.

  • This is such a superb comment and I am glad you riffed on that nuance. I find that 95% of the arguments on business teams is due to a lack of clarity.

  • Same as any of us – – time, confidence, ability. Also I would say there is a general lack of awareness about the benefits.

  • Awesome Linda. Thanks so much!

  • Thanks, Mark. 🙂

  • Hi Mark,

    Clarity jumps out in my mind. Getting clear on your blogging purpose can help you get clear as a leader too.

    Great points!

    RB

  • What you put out is accurate and the benefits of posting video I can understand. What really recognize your logic and realistic.

  • well aid Ryan. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  • Patricia Bleck

    Nice blog post Mark, thank you.

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  • I’m with you Mark, I can definitely see how blogging can help make you a more effective leader!

    Great Post,

    Dana

  • Hi Mark,
    thanks for the great post.
    I asked some of my clients and friends over here in Germany, who are business leaders, if they would do blogging. All of them said “No”. They were to afraid that they could get into conflict with the law (information obligation) or other leaders in the company.
    Is this just a German problem?
    Cheers
    ~Chris

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  • Thanks for taking the time to comment Dana!

  • Interesting. Yes, it is a problem in some places but it is less of a debate here than it was 2-3 years ago. You just have to be smart about the communication. Nothing HR or Legal couldn’t review it first! Thanks for this excellent insight Chris.

  • Thank YOU for the great post! 🙂

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  • Thanks for this Mark. Yes, your #1 is one of the biggest reasons I blog.

    As a Mental Health Therapist I am continuously seeking out information and resources in order to be the best therapist I can for my clients.

    Integrating and putting in to my own words and narrating through my blog REALLY helps it stick in my brain mind and makes it much easier to access when and where appropriate.

    Thanks Again!

    Julia Kristina
    http://juliakristina.com/blog

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