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#SMTPowerTalk 7: CEOs in the Age of Social Media

In the age of social media CEOs face some of their toughest challenges to date. Not only do they have to inspire their staff, set the general direction of their companies and act as a moral compass of sorts but now they also face the added pressure of having to keep up to date with web trends, add new digital communication skills to their skillsets and even look good. Is it realistic to ask all this of them? 
We tackled those questions in a frank dialogue that delved into the real issues of social media. Under the spotlight were Robin Carey, CEO of Social Media Today and Kara Wood, CEO of Succinct Social Media
The Accidental CEO
Robin covered part of her journey that led her to the social media sphere. She admitted that it’s a constant re-appraisal of how you’re making decisions, are you making enough decisions and whether you have the right background and experiences to come into this sphere. Authenticity and being social is something that challenges everyone.
Inevitably the question of the “glass ceiling” came up and “the old boy network” that tends to lock women out. In a credit to the frankness that has become the hallmark of every #SMTPowerTalk since the very beginning, both CEOs admitted that this is an issue and it should never be a crusade. 
The best way to move forward and inspire is to bring value to the table and ignore the politics of gender. Is that a hard thing to do? As a man I cannot even imagine with accuracy but I would hazard a guess that it certainly is. Social media is at its very best when it allows to broach conversation in public that would never be able to be broached in quite such a low key, honest way, otherwise. 
As expected the insights came thick and fast. From identifying the audience and the generation you’re addressing yourself to, to how to deal with the instinctive fear that the moment you reach a certain age you could be perceived as being out of date. 
Robin made the point that things have progressed. Despite perceived unequal treatment there are many more women sitting at the helm of a global corporation today. 
The Role of the CEO
So what exactly should a CEO do today in order to continue to deliver value in the role? From being receptors of good information. Social media can be an additional channel which brings the CEO closer to both the public of the company and its staff. 
This is heady stuff. There is a fluidity in the current role company leaders assume that is not going to go away any time soon. Catch the video for the very frank discussion. 
CEOs who are the company
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Join The Conversation

  • David Amerland's picture
    Aug 19 Posted 2 years ago David Amerland

    Grea takeaway indeed and you're right, it is refreshing to encounter honesty liek this in social media. Doesn't get any more authentic than that. 

  • Randy Milanovic's picture
    Jul 17 Posted 3 years ago Randy Milanovic

    "I can swear like a sailor when something upsets me, but I don't put that into a tweet," shares Robin Carey. While some viewers/readers may be a bit surprised by that statement, I don't know what might be a better example of modern CEOs being authentic and transparent.

    Robin, along with Kara Wood, joins David Amerland for a frank and open discussion on successes and challenges around being women CEOs in a world that admittedly still contains the old boy's network.

    Kara shares that while attending an Oil & Gas and Mining conference in Calgary (my home town - I'm slightly embarrassed), she was repeatedly asked for directions to hotel functions and such, having been mistaken for hotel staff. Kara, next time you visit, my team and I would be more than happy to show you around our fair city and in a manner more befitting a visiting CEO.

    My key take-away: think long term.

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