I spent a part of yesterday fuming that I was being misquoted and misrepresented, scattering testy comments on other people's blogs. But, when this many people take me to task for saying something I didn't think I said, I have to believe that the mistake is with the sender (me) not the receivers (everyone else).
Let me try again. I hope it is clearer this time:
- There are a good number of CEO bloggers, but not nearly as many as I thought there would be back when the book project was started. We discussed several in the book. Some are among my personal favorite bloggers. I am glad they blog. I hope they continue to blog and I hope other CEOs step up and start blogging. If a CEO does start blogging I hope he or she is wise enough to do it in an authentic voice and with passion for the subject matter.
- I am being asked with increasing frequency by corporate employees how they can get their CEOs to blog. My advice is "don't." I did not mean that CEOs should not blog. I meant don't try to coerce, entice, nag or campaign a CEO into blogging. You probably won't succeed. If you do succeed, the resulting blog is likely to be as exciting as cold oatmeal. You also are likely to succeed in annoying your boss, and that is usually an unwise course of action.
- A great many CEOs do not blog because they fear regulatory curtailments. They yield to the voices of risk-avoidant attorneys, whispering in their ear. They see stock performance as a bigger part of their job than customer satisfaction ( a strategic error if you ask me). They cannot speak without media training and a marketing manager advising on the three key talking points. Such CEOs should not blog. They will not help their causes or their companies. They will be perceived as talking suits using that foreign language we call Corpspeak.
- If you are a CEO and do not have that urge or that comfort with transparency, you will likely come across the way I describe in the above point. In that case, I urge you to encourage others in your organization to blog. product managers seem to do an outstanding job of it, because they are passionate about products and can be made wiser by listening to the collective wisdom of customers.
I hope this is at least a little clearer than my previous post.