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  • Writer's pictureSutherlandGold

Benchmarking Leadership Communication

CEOs are more visible than ever. Whether they are conducting a productive Zoom call from their home office or behaving badly in public, the digital world is documenting every move. With this constant exposure comes the expectation that executives will be more transparent and accessible to their audiences. Customers want to know a CEO’s plan for navigating shifting markets and meeting their remote working needs. Employees expect executives to share their values on everything from immigration and climate change to the Black Lives Matter movement. Investors are looking for signs of growth and stellar business performance.

As a CEO, you might be asking yourself, “How can I find time for leadership communication when my calendar looks like an abstract painting?”

Full calendar or Rothko?

While the media and conferences are still crucial for creating a public record of your business and establishing credibility, executives need to move beyond traditional strategies and find new ways to communicate their business performance, values, or unique perspective.

Leadership Communication Personas and Benchmarks

While investigating CEOs leading startups and high-growth companies, we noticed consistent patterns around how executives leverage different channels for leadership communication. The behaviors helped us develop the four executive personas, which define different styles, time, and resource investment as well as benchmarks for measuring the results.

The personas stem from months of research — which you can see in our CEO Scorecard for Remote Leadership — tracking ten influential CEOs leading high-growth companies to see how they raised their visibility and engaged their audiences across channels. Each persona is an aggregate of the profiles we assessed using our CEO diagnostic tool. The personas help executives map their visibility and engagement style with one of the four personas to determine whether or not they are hitting the benchmarks.

Where to Next?

Aligning yourself with a persona is just the first step to improving your leadership communication. Your next step is to determine how best to focus your limited time and resources. The best way to figure out where you want to go is to start by asking yourself the following questions.

What do I value?

  • Thought Leadership and Visibility

  • Employee Engagement

  • Customer Insights

  • Sales Leads

  • Beating Competitors

  • Operational Excellence

What efforts do I support to move the business higher?

  • Brand Awareness

  • Customer Service

  • Attracting and Retaining Talent

  • Protecting and Enhancing Brand Reputation

How will I measure the results?

  • Industry Leadership

  • Growth

  • New Funding

  • New Hires

  • New Leads

  • Employee Satisfaction

How do my audiences perceive my leadership?

By diagnosing your profile and assessing audience perceptions, you can determine whether or not you are meeting your goals or wasting your time. Find out how you can evaluate your leadership communication to determine whether or not you are amplifying your voice, gaining leadership in an industry or niche, or shaping the conversations that matter most to your business.


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