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CEOs in Isolation Provide a Preview into the Future of Remote Leadership

SutherlandGold selected ten influential high-growth company CEOs from Fortune’s 2019 40 Under 40 list to study their remote leadership

The CEO Scorecard evaluates each leader’s business performance, visibility in the media, thought leadership, and social media engagement based on a scale of one on the low end to five on the high end. We added to the scorecard research by conducting an online survey of CEOs leading startup companies to learn what future CEOs prioritize for their visibility, engagement, and remote leadership. The result is a multidimensional picture into what CEOs prioritize today and in the future when it comes to leading in a virtual world.

HENRIQUE DUBUGRAS

SCORE: 4.74

Brex 

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JOY BUOLAMWINI

SCORE: 3.10

Algorithmic Justice League 

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CARL PEI

SCORE: 2.71

OnePlus 

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KELLER RINAUDO

SCORE: 2.66

Zipline 

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BILL LIU

SCORE: 2.11

Royale 

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MICHAEL MIGNANO

SCORE: 1.98

Anchor 

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ALYSON FRIEDENSOHN

SCORE: 1.48

Modern Health 

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JESSIE WISDOM

SCORE: 1.41

Humu 

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TREVOR MARTIN

SCORE: 1.35

Mammoth

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PENG ZHAO

SCORE: 1.28

Citadel Securities

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Our CEO Scorecard provides a benchmark for leaders who want to evaluate their visibility and engagement strategies.

We first scored high-growth company CEO activities in 2019 to discover:

  • 70% primarily used speaking engagements to set the tone in an industry or niche

  • 60% used Instagram for personal use and none used LinkedIn or Facebook to reach audiences directly

  • 50% used Twitter occasionally to amplify their voice

  • 40% leveraged the media for company news, industry trends, and new products/services

  • 10% successfully shaped the conversations that influenced new thinking about bias in the AI space 

Once the pandemic hit, we found that all ten of the CEOs quickly embraced leading in virtual environments. They considered context, brevity, transparency, and relevancy when engaging in real-time. They have a digital mindset, are fluent in data, and hyper-visual. More importantly, they all adapt quickly to changes in the market.

  • 50% of CEOs embraced virtual events

  • 70% increased Twitter following, tweets and engagement

  • 40% increased media mentions, with one CEO increasing mentions by 76% 

  • Surprisingly, none of the CEOs leveraged LinkedIn or Facebook to engage audiences

In addition to our CEO Scorecard research, we analyzed a new generation of digital-first CEOs who are defining what remote leadership might look like in the post-pandemic world.

You can find them leading startup companies in the exploding fintech, biotech, AI, and healthcare industries. To better understand the CEOs leading startup companies, we conducted an online survey to find out what they prioritize when it comes to their remote leadership, visibility, and engagement. We asked how much time they commit, what resources they use, and which metrics they value in measuring business success.

CEOs leading startup companies responses to our survey:

  • 75% say engagement is more important than ever

  • 80% manage their own social media presence

  • 40% believe social media is a top choice for visibility and engagement

  • 61% say social media impacts a company’s bottom line

  • 47% leverage Twitter to track trends

  • 30% use LinkedIn for thought leadership

  • 50% prefer Facebook for promoting their personal use

  • 54% use LinkedIn to promote their professional brand

As our study found, right now, the only window into how these leaders are managing their company is via their digital presence, media coverage, and engagement on social media.

These channels are where your primary audience will gauge whether you are a leader, a follower, or a non-participant in the current climate. If you have an existing social media presence, then you are already ahead of the game. Take the time to learn more about remote leadership during this complicated time.

Want to know more?

Contact Rachelle Spero at rspero@sutherlandgold.com to learn more about the live data.

Sutherlandgold® is a registered trademark of SutherlandGold Group, LLC. ©SutherlandGold 2020.