July 21, 2021

6 minute reading

Opinions expressed entrepreneur The contributors are their own.


Recent events have made people pay more attention to whether CEOs should express opinions on social issues or political decisions, as this may adversely affect their business. This struggle has existed in every generation of leaders in the past, and it will also exist in future leaders.

In the fall of 2018, Alison Taylor, managing director of BSR, wrote: Harvard Business Review CEO activism, the growing trend of senior management to express opinions on sensitive social and political issues, has been labelled the’new normal’. But behind the scenes, executives do not feel that they are in control. They are working hard to anticipate and respond to pressure from the public, investors, and especially employees. ”

In collaboration with KRC Research, the public relations company Weber Shandwick released Ceo Activism in 2018: Purposeful CEO, Which highlights the role of the CEO and trends related to using his business platform to highlight ideas on social issues. The following are some of the highlights of the report:

  • Nearly eight in ten consumers (77%) agree that when the company’s values ​​are violated or threatened, the CEO needs to speak up.
  • CEO activism has a positive impact on purchasing decisions. Nearly half of consumers (46%) are more likely to buy products from a company led by a CEO, which expresses opinions on the issues they agree with.
  • The top issues that people expect CEOs to solve are: training, equal pay for equal work and sexual harassment. Bottom of the list: gun control, nationalism, legalization of marijuana, and abortion.
  • 31% of employed Americans said that if their CEO took a public stance on a hotly debated issue, they would be more loyal to their organization, while almost the same percentage (29%) said it was irrelevant to them critical. Few (23%) have lower loyalty.

related: 7 ways to smash your own glass ceiling

When the CEO’s voice matters

Every leader should prioritize more communication. This communication should include internal and external communication. There is an old saying: “True instruction is in the mouth, but there is no falsehood. He walked with me peacefully and upright and led many people.”

The leader’s words should be:

1. Words given to them by faith

The principle of truth is a good principle. When leaders speak wise words, they can rest assured that these words apply to any time and situation. Leaders are wise when studying truth and learning how to apply it to daily life and the environment (including business).

When the leader sees things that are contrary to justice and justice, the leader must become the spokesperson of justice and justice. When a leader discovers what is the right truth, it will have a belief that they must share this truth with others. Faith often leads to dialogue.

2. Words that have been proven correct

Because what the leader says is very important, what he says should be true and correct. It is unwise for leaders to be entangled in rumors, vague concepts, or statements that may prove to be wrong.The leader is not good enough almost Fix it. The leader’s words must be accurate. The writer Mark Twain encouraged accurate thoughts when he wrote these words. “The difference between an almost correct word and a correct word is really a big problem-this is the difference between a lightning bug and a lightning bolt.”

The leader’s words should always point to something. When the leader speaks, the audience should be full of insight and wisdom. Too many leaders spend too much time talking without saying anything that will change those who listen. Business leaders who speak attentively will find that their words are more valuable.

3. Words that bring peace and correct behavior

CEOs have the ability to influence through their words, so they should carefully consider their words. When the CEO tells the truth, it will build trust and confidence.

In comments on the Edelman Trust Barometer, which measures the public’s confidence in companies, governments, and other institutions every year, CEO and President Richard Edelman wrote: “Business leaders have new expectations. Nearly seven in ten respondents said that building trust is the top priority of the CEO before high-quality products and services. Nearly two-thirds of the interviewees said they want CEOs to take the lead in changing policies instead of waiting for the government, which now has much lower trust in most markets than companies. Now is the time for companies to solve the problem of stagnant wages for the working class of the past two decades, while acknowledging the need to retrain employees who will soon be replaced by automation. ”

Many leaders like the fact that their words often provoke action. However, a wise leader will consider whether the action is correct. An employee who can trust the leader’s words is usually better than an employee who constantly responds to the leader’s latest unstable, emotional statement.

related: Consumers are demanding to take a stand on social and political issues. Are you ready to speak?

4. Words that show the wisdom of others

In his book, Hit Makers: Science in the Pop Era Distracted, Magazine writer and writer Derek Thompson said, “All my favorite books implement this technique. At first, they seemed to immerse me in another life, but in the end they immersed me in me; I was looking at another person’s house through the window, but what I saw in the reflection was my face. “

The job of a leader is not to win arguments, but to gain influence. Leaders should never tire of communicating with others with grace and compassion. This helps guide others to think more deeply. The old saying goes: “The words of a reckless man are like a knife, and the tongue of a wise man can heal.” In times of crisis and difficulty, the voice of a leader is precious. Leaders are required to speak with wisdom and insight.

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