Apr 4 2011

Beware of the volume of your CEO megaphone

Someone used this phrase with me a few days ago and I thought it effectively captured something that’s come up a number of times in the past few weeks around CEO communication. Many great entrepreneur CEOs are fantastic visionaries and seem to have a constant (often what feels like endless!) stream of ideas flowing from their brains. And because they’re often gregarious people they’re not shy about sharing this idea stream. However often this idea flow isn’t accompanied by any metadata and the lack of context can sometimes lead to companies zig zagging around as managers react to the most recent meeting they’ve had with their visionary boss. Enter the comment about the “CEO Megaphone” and I think we’ve found an apt description to what sometimes goes on within a company. When CEO’s talk, their voice is amplified by their position in the company (always as the boss and sometimes as the boss and company founder – which can amplify the weight of their voice, especially around product direction, even more). Since a CEO can’t turn off the megaphone, it’s important that s/he recognize the amplification effect it has.