Too Busy Being A Leader to Engage?

A firestorm arose a few weeks ago when UberCEO published a report, entitled Fortune 100 CEOs are slackers citing dismal levels of engagement in social media by the leaders of corporate America.

Then, today, Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, “the nations 21st largest PR firm”, wrote  that he just doesn’t have time to engage with the marketplace in dialogue any more than he has time to engage with his 85 employees daily.  He only has time to convey his insights to everyone.

I completely disagree with Torossian. In 2009 – especially during turbulent times – I believe there is nothing more important for a CEO to do than to engage with key stakeholders of his/her company:  the people who buy its products, work hard to help it grow, influence its reputation, invest in its future, and more.  If our leadership loses touch with our 230 employees and the broader marketplace, then we lose our ability to make the right decisions and to invest in what will truly create value. For me, Twitter is an incredibly efficient tool for doing that:  listening hard, seeing what people are saying about Communispace, and yes, sharing a few insights. You can read about my journey through the 5 steps of tweeting here .

CEOs don’t need to do all of this on Twitter, but they have to have a strategy for engagement.  After all, this is a terrible time to be out of touch, don’t you think?