In the first post of this two part series, I shared some thoughts about using blogging to establish or promote yourself as a thought leader. For that I focused on what some would see as a group unlikely to be persuaded to blog, CEOs.
In this second post of the series I share some results of a few hours searching for examples of CEO blogs with interesting, useful content.
I found seven really interesting blogs by CEOs. In this post I comment on three of them and hope to comment on the others in a separate post in the not too distant future.
Two things in particular stand out for me with these examples:
- They cover a range of interesting topics and are in no way just being used to spout some PR about the respective companies
- They are interesting to read in their own right, not just because the authors are CEOs
Penny Herscher, First Rain
Penny Herscher is the CEO of FirstRain, which describes itself as “a team of data scientists, UX designers and business leaders that are at the forefront of cutting-edge big data analytics for the business professional.”
Her blog, The grassy road, is subtitled “A CEO at work and play in Silicon Valley and beyond”.
Recent posts covered:
- her Monday morning “swim to think” ritual
- pros and cons of being a CEO
- how trust impacts productivity
- venture capital, with advice on interviewing potential investors
She writes in a direct, no nonsense style, and with humor. For example, this on the cons of being a CEO,
You’ll be lonelier than you’ve ever been in your life. That cliche “the buck stops with you” is absolutely true when you are CEO. There is no one to turn to if you have to make a hard decision. Your board is there to give you advice, but they are not going to tell you what to do. Your team is there to provide counsel and debate with you but in the end, they’ll look to you to make the difficult decisions. And there’s no one you can talk to. It’s unfair to burden your friends and family with these work related stresses. It’s you and the wall (or in my case the dog) talking it out sometimes.
I’ve often talked about that phenomenon, with some degree of self-interest, ok a lot, as I am wanting people to see the value of hiring a coach. But I have never previously seen or heard it expressed so well and so much to the point.
But what is really inspiring for me as a blogger is that this blog has been going since 2007 and kept going through 2008 – 86 posts – when the world’s finances were in serious trouble and FirstRain was not exempt and when Penny Herscher said, according to this article, that “the wheels came off the bus”.
George Colony, Forrester Research
George Colony is CEO of the leading research and advisory firm, Forrester Research, which declares on its website “We work with business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies that drive growth.”
Recent posts on George Colony’s Blog: The Counterintuitive CEO have been about:
- What startups teach
- Apple Watch
- Microsoft and customers
- The empowered customer
Over the years I have learned a lot from what Forrester has shared publicly from its research findings and have often used Forrester’s Social Technographics ladder to illustrate to various audience the different ways in which people can interact online via the social web.
So I had particular enjoyment from finding George Colony’s blog and even more enjoyment from reading his posts, written in an easy but very informative style. See for instance his less than complimentary, but not unkind, review of the Apple Watch last year:
Beautiful, but a niche product. I estimate that only 10% of the 250 million worldwide iPhone users will buy the Apple Watch.
The author has been a bit quiet lately, with no posts this year, but that needs to be balanced against the fact that he started in May 2004 and has kept the blog going through all those years.
Let’s hope he can find or make the time soon to share some more of his counter-intuitive insight and wisdom with us.
Kenneth Makovsky, Makovsky Integrated Communications
Makovsky is, according to its website, “…one of the top 25 integrated communications firms in the United States”
The company, founded in 1979, is headquartered in New York City, with divisions in health, financial and professional services, technology, energy and sustainability, and digital branding.
Founder and CEO Kenneth Makovsky’s blog is My Three Cents
The blog started in January 2012 and the author has posted frequently and regularly since then, his latest post appearing only a day ago.
- Corporate Culture: What’s the ROI?
- The Real Culprit in the Financial Crisis
- Doing Well by Doing Good
- When an Icon Crumbles (the Bill Cosby story)
Once again, we find a CEO writing in an easily accessible way, but without being lightweight.
I often talk with businesses about the importance of corporate culture. The following gem of data from Mr Makovsky’s latest post will be kept within easy reach.
Co-sponsored by Crawford International and HR.com, a 9-year study of 94 large companies revealed that organizations that have responsive, flexible cultures and strong leaders outperform those that don’t by an astonishing 900 to 1, as measured by long-term net income and stock price growth.
Do you have a favorite CEO blog? Let us know.