For businesses of the future to remain relevant its vital they look at the leadership skill sets required to operate in today's digitally and socially savvy consumer led world. 

Global business advising firm Brunswick Group conducted a study to determine the top 100 connected CEOs, based on their digital presence and factors like activity, whether or not they're verified, and their use of four main social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

It seems it pays to be connected via social media, especially if you're running a multi-billion dollar company.

A study by the Edelman Trust Barometer found that 67% of consumers trust “company technical experts,” while only 43% trust CEOs. Employee generated content is often more authentic than company-produced content. Therefore, consumers are more likely to trust what individuals have to say over any corporate communication.

Matching content with a face helps brands gain consumer trust.

Compared to CEOs from other backgrounds, former marketers score particularly well on being socially responsible and promoting diversity and inclusion (both 42%). 

Marketer CEOs also score highly by comparison when it comes to implementing a strong strategy and long-term vision (44%). Only finance CEOs score higher at 45%.

Likewise former marketers come near the top when it comes to understanding the importance of brand and reputation for the organisation (44%), just behind finance CEOs on 46% and economics CEOs on 45%.

One of the reasons marketer CEOs do so well is because 81% of the CEOs analysed for the report (link below) were appointed from a position within the organisation.

“It’s recognised that CEOs need to have a well-established network inside their company and that’s a step ahead for them versus an outsider being recruited in,” “But the other side of stakeholder management that marketers are really good at is understanding customers and other external stakeholders, which CEOs of other backgrounds may not necessarily understand as well.”

I've found that leaders generally fall into 2 key areas when it comes to 'change';

  1. At a logical level they fully understand and accept that for things to move on change needs to happen - this view is initially is driven by the leadership team.
  2. At an emotional level is where most of the resistance to that change occurs - this is also driven by the leadership team, and filters down.

So what you are faced with are the people who are charged with that 'change strategy' understand the logic, but constrain themselves and the company with the emotional elements associated with that change.

I still see far to many CEOs who still think that 'social media' is something for the family, or is ran by the girl with the tattoo, or the guy with the beard in marketing.

So, what background does your CEO have and is it suited to the challenges of a 21st Century world?