This past week, an American chief executive admitted to having posted over 1,000 comments under an assumed name in a stock market chat room. The chat room focused on a competitor he’s seeking to acquire.
The aforementioned CEO has a blog. Which one reporter saw as linking us when she left me a voicemail, “As another CEO who writes a blog, I was wondering if you could comment on the situation.”
What? I bet he wears shoes, too, but that doesn’t mean I have any more insight in to his actions than those who go barefoot.
We all have choices in how we communicate – I use this format because it works for me, allows me to talk to a diversity of constituents (the open source community is vastly larger than the investment community – even numerically, a stock market chat room would be a relatively inefficient forum to engage the market), and a blog is more affordable than the daily global townhalls it supplants.
But I’d love it if we one day eliminated the term “blogging” from the web lexicon (and that we stopped pursuing “CEO’s who blog.”). CEO’s who have cell phones aren’t “cell-phoners,” those who have email accounts arent “emailers,” those who give interviews on television aren’t “TV’ers” – they’re all leaders using technology to communicate. Communication is central to leadership – using words, written or spoken, to articulate strategy, guide organizations, engage in dialog, and… lead. Leading two or 200,000, you can’t do it without communicating. Using technology just leaves more time for everything else (I’m not saying stone tablets can’t be effective, they just take way longer to distribute).
So how do I feel about what the other CEO did?
Authenticity is core to leadership, and the currency of our industry. So I doubt he advanced his agenda.