A CEO’s Unintended Consequence of Joining LinkedIn

A CEO's Unintended Consequence of Joining LinkedInDuring a recent conversation with one of my CEO clients at CEO Connection, the topic moved to our private LinkedIn group and how he could use it to discuss some of his challenges with fellow members. And then he shared with me something I hadn’t anticipated.

He said, “Lisa, you wouldn’t believe what happened to me when I joined LinkedIn. I joined it for exactly the purpose you mention, to participate in a few private groups that may be of help to me and where I might be able to add some value. But then I had breakfast one morning with a few employees and I discovered an unintended consequence.

They mentioned to me that they’d noticed I’d joined LinkedIn, and they asked why. When I told them, they seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. And then they said,” Mr. (CEO), we were all convinced you were looking for a new job.”

Everything communicates, particularly when you’re the CEO.

This gentleman told me he worked with his communications team to put together a blog post that explained to employees that just as they all had areas of development they were working on, he too looked for ways to continually improve in his role. For him, using LinkedIn to connect with his peers who had similar challenges was one of the ways he was accessing experienced advice and insights.

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It put to rest the rumors he was looking for a new job, which had already begun to impact morale.

This story is an important reminder that as executives, how we use social media and what we say in public is being viewed in ways we may never have intended. As leaders, it is our responsibility to consider the impact of our communications on employees, partners and stakeholders.

What has your experience been?


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Photo is LinkedIn Chocolates by nan palmero.

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