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:
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.
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.
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.
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