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CEOs and blogocombat: an introduction August 8, 2006

Posted by electrica in basic blogology, blog debate, blogocombat, CEO blogs, CEO Videos, deep blogology, Video Blogging.
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As a hardcore blogger and web consultant, I have to engage in a variety of online debate. I call it “blogocombat”, even when I enter discussions in phone conversations or email. This contending for a point of view or set of facts is mandatory behavior. You cannot forge into the future with a paranoid or passive attitude. You must be aggressive.

But how aggressive? In what styles?

A CEO cannot do his or her company any favor by appearing to be a wimp, chump, or weakling online. The opposite extreme would be a bellicose bully, an arrogant jerk who pummels anyone who comes close.

The best, and perhaps only, way to master diplomatic but strong online debate is to spend some time observing the seasoned pros who already have the battle scars and missing limbs to prove they are veterans of the digital realm wars.

There are controversies galore in the blogosphere and vlogosphere. Google a few search terms like Net Neutrality, Comment Moderation, Fictional Character Blogs, or any aspect of blogging you are interested in right now. See what kinds of argumentation are going on, for you will surely see web pages with confrontational titles.

Watch how Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Richard Edelman, Shel Israel, Tom Peters, or Robert Scoble respond to harsh critique, unfair assumption, and wild accusation. Study their tone and word choice. Watch how often they jump into heated discussions within their blogs or at the blogs of others.

Some say a blog is a party that anyone can join and do whatever they want. Others caution us that a blog is a livingroom of a home, and you better be polite, civil, and calm. I think CEO blogs must be prepared for intelligent, sophisticated criticism as well as more emotional, less dignified attack.

Don’t shy away from the blogosphere, due to fear of flamers.

Show courage and visionary leadership, a credibility based on brave experimentation, by juming into the blogosphere, come what may. The simple act of just starting a blog will be seen by many in your industry as being forward thinking and technologically savvy.

Better yet, start a vlog or video blog.

I’ll try posting a couple of my better videos here, as an example. Most of my video experiments are failures, but I have a fine comedy video and a neat professional instruction film on CEO video blogging.

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CEO Charisma: what is it? July 31, 2006

Posted by electrica in blog business tools, CEO blogs, CEO Videos, Video Blogging.
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Here’s a comment I posted on CEO Blog – Time Management by Jim Estill, CEO – SYNNEX Canada Ltd.

The topic of one of his posts was executive charisma. He questioned whether he really had much charisma. I’d say he’s probably got plenty, because you have to have some charisma to lead such a successful and prosperous corporation.

Charisma can come across in a text blog, I suppose, to an extent.  But a CEO Video blog post can really communicate your charisma, personality, and vision.
[QUOTE]

Charisma is suddenly a vital topic to me, since I’ve gotten into video blogging and CEO videos.

What is charisma? Does it necessarily mean extroverted, wild-eyed, pulpit pounding enthusiasm, gushing charm and a twinkle in the eye?

I doubt it. I think there are many types of charisma, including a gentle, soothing, calm, shy, and introspective manner.

I point you to the book Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It — by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner.

Kouzes is chairman emeritus of the Tom Peters Company.

According to their research, constituents seek (1) Honest (2) Forward-looking (visionary) (3) Inspiring (4) Competent (5) Fair minded (6) Supportive…(etc.) leadership.

Where does charisma fit into this scheme? The word “charisma” is not even found in the index of the book.

Thus, I think charisma is a blend of the 6 qualities above, especially being Visionary in an Inspiring manner.

How you portray these qualities is up to you, or any other CEO.
[END QUOTE]

According to Websters New World Dictionary, “charisma” is (1) a divinely inspired gift or talent, as for prophesying, healing, etc. (2) a special quality of leadership that inspires great popular allegiance.

I personally think you can have charisma, even when few follow you, and your organization is not doing very well, for reasons that are not your fault. I think of Socrates, Buddha, Jesus, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abe Lincoln, Tim Berners-Lee, Jason Calacanis, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, heck, even The Beatles…

Did they have “charisma”? As we commonly think of it?

Or did they have a burning passion for an idea that simply had to come to pass through their efforts and leadership?

How much of their lifelong achievement was due to charisma?

To me, charisma is passion, dedication, and a unique, warm personality that inspires others to follow cheerfully and expectantly.