Posts Tagged ‘CEO blogs’

It Should Come From the CEO

pink-2A recent piece on Compensation.BLR.com features a lot of good advice on how companies should handle salary cuts and layoffs during the economic meltdown, from employee communication expert Jennifer Benz of Benz Communications.

Above all, she says, “The first communication should come from the CEO. It needs to be very personal, very real. Then make sure that managers and supervisors have the tools to have one-on-one conversations with their employees. We call it a cascade of communication—it should go from the CEO to the leaders, then from the leaders to the managers, then the managers to the employees.”

Women Executives in the Spotlight

female-symbol-woman-editedUntil I heard Denise Graveline speak, I thought that the challenges faced by male and female executives as they stood behind a podium were pretty much the same.

Wrong!

Denise — a multi-talented communicator, coach and writer — helped me understand that women (especially women executives) confront special preconceptions and expectations when they stand before an audience. And the economic downturn has made those challenges even more complex.

The good news is Denise has a terrific blog, The Eloquent Woman, that offers a ton of great advice for XX chromosomed speakers. This week she offers up a new resource on public speaking and a top ten list of speaking tips.

What Turnaround CEO’s Need

j0434784Jim Kristie has an interesting post in his blog, Boards at Their Best. While the focus here at “Tough Talk” is on what a CEO needs to do to turn around a company, Kristie takes a look at what boards can do for CEOs.

“How about giving the CEO a hug?,” Kristie says.

Whoa! But Kristie is no New Agey, Stewart Smalley type. He’s making a larger point that a little empathy can go a long way. And he’s got a great case study from the First Quarter 2009 edition of Directors & Boards — a first-person account from a turnaround CEO that is “full of applicable wisdom and tactics for battling through the current downturn.”

The CEO is Mel Bergstein who was in charge of Diamond Management & Technology Consultants Inc., a publicly traded technology consulting company, when the dot-com bust hit.  Bergstein says, “”For the board of directors, it’s important to understand the pressure and sense of helplessness that the CEO feels in these times. I was always encouraged by one director in particular who would put his arm around my shoulder and tell me I was doing the right things and the business would recover. I knew he hadn’t a clue more than I did. But, hearing him say it to me helped me not feel so alone and burdened. He earned his director comp 10 times over because he was sensitive enough to understand.”

You can read more from Bergstein on taking on tough times, in the March issue of the Directors & Boards e-Briefing, edited by Kristie.

Uncle Sam…Your New Partner

edelman-square-2In a recent blog post, Richard Edelman, CEO of the PR giant that bears his name, offers some trenchant communications advice to CEOs whose companies have to “to dance the tango with a newly aggressive partner, namely government.” Based on recent headlines, that number seems sure to grow.

Two specific pieces advice were very much in line with what I’ve learned from interviews with turnaround CEOs.

First – CEOs will have to realize that they depend on more key audiences:  “CEOs must change from a uni-polar world of investors and analysts to a broader definition of audiences that puts employees first in line in the need to know.” Not only that, he says, CEOs dancing with government must recognize the impact any action they take will have on society.
Second —Vision, vision, vision: “Rather than keeping strategy as a matter for the board of directors alone, the CEO should share the vision with its broader publics. This will enable its new investor (government) to have the public support for a long-term view instead of being forced into short-term measures.” Edelman nails the auto CEOs for dropping the ball on that one.