Here’s an understatement: There’s a lot of sh*t going on inthe world right now.
As concerned citizens, many CEOs, executives, and business leaders feel compelled to share their thoughts on certain issues.
Is that wise?
Some CEOs get applauded for taking a stance. Others get ridiculed for being out of touch. It’s not uncommon for both to happen to the same person…for the same post!
5 Yes/No Questions
Truth is, there’s a lot of potential downside when it comes to weighing in on social matters not directly related to your business.
But there is also tremendous upside.
To help you decide, ask yourself these 5 questions:
- Is the issue in question a lasting issue that you can post about consistently (as opposed to being “the current thing”)?
- Are you comfortable having your brand (bothpersonal and corporate) associated with this issue and your position on it?
- Do you have something substantive to add to the discussion?
- Is the issue important to your customers, employees, and/or other key stakeholders?
- Are you prepared to go beyond talking about theissue and take action?
How’d You Do?
Tally up how many times you answered “yes,” then use this scoresheet to decide your next move:
- 5 – Go for it! You might get some pushback, but as long as you’re authentic about it, you have little to fear.
- 3-4 – Be careful. Look at which questions you answered “yes” to and decide how important it is to add your voice to the topic.
- 1-2 – Stop! You’re about to step into a minefield.
- 0 – Do I really have to tell you?
The Bottom Line
There’s nothing wrong with taking a stand. It can be quite admirable and lots of CEOs and business leaders include their thoughts on social topics in their content.
The ones who do it well are genuine and authentic in their positions, not preachy or holier-than-thou, and do it in service of their customers, companies, and brands.
If you’re unsure about how your thoughts will be received, tread carefully. You could be risking having your position not age well, alienating your key audiences, and looking shallow and reactionary.