CEOs are known for flawless communication, right? We understand their ideas and can execute on them. Well, maybe...it depends on the communication vehicle they select.
When leaders speak or write, we have the chance to capture the flavor and nuances of their communication: in depth insights. But with Twitter and text messaging, some of that brilliance and subtly can get lost. Corporate mission statements in 140 characters? Hmmm...maybe not a bad idea. But for critical communications, perhaps social media is not the best choice.
In a wonderfully creative post, Jamie Quatro at Mcseeenys posted what a CEO's strategy might look like in text. BTW, the CEO happens to be God.
So how would God communicate his vision and strategy for mankind, i.,e the Ten Commandments, if he had to use text? Here is Jamie's wickedly inventive text version of the Big 10:
1. no1 b4 me. srsly.
2. dnt wrshp pix/idols
3. no omg's
4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
5. pos ok - ur m&d r cool
6. dnt kill ppl
7. :-X only w/ m8
8. dnt steal
9. dnt lie re: bf
10. dnt ogle ur bf's m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.
M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl. ttyl, JHWH. ps. wwjd?
Note to earthly CEOs: to avoid confusion, maybe you should keep vision and strategy statements off of Twitter!
The "C" word is getting a lot of press these days (you WERE thinking CEO, weren't you?).
It seems that every time someone gets appointed to a government post, they get the title "czar." There are so many of these little crazy Ivans running around in Washington that Senator McCain said Obama has, "more Czars than the Romanovs."
We have a drug czar, an energy czar, a border czar, a climate czar, a czar for this and a czar for that. In December, in her Wall Street Journal article, Laura Meckler wrote about the rising ascension of czars in the White House.
And it's not just in the US. The United Kingdom has it share of little Ivans, with drug czars, and according to Business Week, the UK has appointed its first "Twitter Czar!" God help us all! (It's OK to say that...I'm under 140 characters).
The question is, what is a czar, and as a leader, do you want to be one?
According to history, a czar is a despot, an emperor or monarch (tsar is a variation, but we don't use that one much for our leaders; pronouncing the "ts" sounds a bit sibilant and not "manly" enough. Czar's connotation is absolute power, heavy-handed despot: think Ivan the Terrible or the ill-fated Czar Nicholas. We can even think Despotic Queen of Hearts from Alice.
So when your employees think of your leadership style, do they think czar? Are you heavy-handed, autocratic and part of the chain-of-command mindset? Do you relish absolute power? Or is your style open to listening and accessible? Do you delegate and share the power? Think collaboration and you've got a great "C" word to apply to your leadership style.
There are a lot of "C" words employees could use to describe your approach to leadership, but czar should not be one of them.