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C-Suite Executives Go Back to School for Social Media

“Boardroom commanders are being assigned to basic training,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Fearful their companies will fall behind because top bosses don’t have a firm grasp of technology or digital media, senior managers are taking lessons on how the Internet works.”

“Some firms are pairing individual leaders with young mentors, while others are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach the entire c-suite how to use social tools that most of their entry-level employees use without a second thought. The goal isn’t for the CEO to parse the difference between a ‘like’ and ‘share’ on Facebook or take a spin on the company Twitter account, though that is covered, too. Rather, instructors and managers say, a basic understanding of the digital landscape helps leaders make better decisions about what to invest in, as well as how to talk about it.”

Harvard Business Review: “Five years ago, when boards were searching for a leader, social media competency wasn’t even on the radar. Now, according to the board members and CEOs we interviewed for our book, a strong social presence is often high on the list of factors they consider when vetting CEO candidates.”

“And five years from now? With the positive aspects of being a social CEO routinely splashed across the business pages, social fluency will likely be on almost every board’s list of must-have leadership skills. Already, given a choice between similarly strong candidates — one with an impressive social presence, the other without – the choice is easy: boards increasingly prefer the modern leader.”