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The Huge Importance Of Being A “Social Ceo” In The New Digital Economy Of The 21st Century

Like everything that is happening in these first two decades of the 21st century, radical changes are taking place in all areas of human activity supported by a profound and vast technological revolution that is transforming all aspects of human activity.

To make the thing even more complex, the pace of change has also accelerated dramatically. Everything is evolving at unprecedented rates driven by the technological revolution that the World Economic Forum, with great skill. calls “The Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

All the big companies (data driven companies) that have known how to adapt to the XXI Century are being led by a great Social CEO.

The “traditional” CEO, by becoming a “Social CEO”, who lives and breathes the digital economy, inserts and inserts the company he commands into the digital nervous system of the planet and accesses and allows his company to access the almost infinite knowledge at our disposal in the Knowlede Society in we all live in. Never before in the history of mankind, we have been able to access, absorb and transform this vast amount of knowledge.

The CEOs of the 21st century can not afford to deprive themselves and deprive the companies they work for and lead of the enormous and almost unlimited benefits that this knowledge, generated daily, every minute throughout the world offers. A disconnected company with a leader disconnected from this global ecosystem loses innumerable opportunities to learn, improve, innovate, do business, transform and why not … to survive and even… to reinvent itself.

Learning to learn and learn to unlearn
In our experience, the problem is that executives (and the higher their charge the worse) see social networks as irrelevant when it comes to the professional and business world. This way of seeing the world makes them (and again, the companies they lead) extremely vulnerable to the disruptions that we see happening almost daily throughout the world.

Thus, these companies suffer from a short-sightedness of such a level, that they fail to understand what are the causes of their decline in sales, their irrelevance or even bankruptcy when the solution was extremely simple and obvious and was always available to their clients: their competition simply understood the enormous power of the digital revolution and used it as part of their competitive strategy to get their rivals out of the market.

As we mentioned in a previous article, social networks should be seen as the “Digital Nervous System of the Planet” particularly Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin (although I would also add Pinterest, Insagram and Slideshare). In the digital economy of the 21st century, the first thing that executives must learn is the importance for companies to have a Social CEO and that he or she has a social network strategy consistent with the digital hyper-economy of the 21st century!.

A Social CEO gives an enormous value to companies they run, as it is the official spokesperson and the visible face of the company in a world where the most important thing is the maintenance of relationships. In the twentieth century, everything was transaction-oriented. This way of looking at business in the 21st century makes companies irrelevant because they do not respect the tacit rules that the community of social network users around the world respect, and commit the grave error of “over-selling” affecting the image and the reputation of the company.

A company that does not share valuable content with the digital nervous system of the planet and is not part of the conversations contributing to the development of people, companies and even the world.

Nor do they see social networks as perhaps the most important way to learn and remain competitive in the digital hyper economy of the 21st century. As a postgraduate professor, I consider that this type of “unstructured education” is even more valuable than “structured education”, the one with which we usually educate or train (teacher, blackboard, powerpoint, students) as we access unlimited knowledge in all the areas of business and human affairs.

In the digital hyper-economy of the 21st century, a lot of information is shared that companies, professionals and above all executives must transform into knowledge that allows them to inform themselves, innovate and even transform their companies into what is usually called a “Social Enterprise”.

This way of sharing and reaping knowledge in social networks is one (among several others) of the most important aspects of the “Data Driven Companies” of the 21st century. Not doing so is like blinding and silencing a company by not participating in global conversations characterized by the knowledge they harvest and share. To achieve this transformation, one of the first things we must learn to do as CEOs is “learn to unlearn”.

“What brought you here, won’t take you there”

Many of the rules of the game, the vision and the processes that were useful to companies in the 20 century, in the 21st century make them slow, pachydermic and with a very low and very slow capacity to learn and innovate. In a hyper competitive world like today, this way of acting makes the company victim of the worst of the evils of the 21st century, what Brian Solis calls “Digital Darwinism”: A state of business failure where technology and society advance faster than the company’s ability to adapt.

You can browse the complete list elaborated by Hootuite  here:

I ask myself the following question: If the most important companies in the world have Social CEOs, why do not the rest of the companies adopt this same practice? These super companies apply these strategies for a very simple reason: Because they work!

The business leaders of the 21st century are no longer only measured by their financial results. The way in which they communicate with their customers, employees and other stakeholders is undoubtedly one of the roles of the new CEOs of the 21st century and one of the most important strategies of the new hyper economy in which we live.

This factor of corporate culture will even become more increasingly important as this form of interaction strengthens the collaboration, learning, sense of belonging and the desire to work of our employees and collaborators.

It also substantially improves the reputation of both the Social CEO and the company he manages. If people are already talking about your company, why not become part of the conversation?

The Social CEO must also know how to communicate within the company
Employees by themselves are already social: among them, with their families, friends and the world.

The sociability of the CEO instills positive feelings in its people, which results in positive behaviors making the work environment more pleasant and increasing the competitiveness of the firm.

Social CEOs are better leaders: They inspire, communicate, listen and learn. They can “feel” the company and they take its pulse on a daily basis thanks to corporate social networks running throughout all of the office spaces and remotely accessible via the proper apps.

It does not take them much time to inspire. Just a photo, a quote, a symbol or a comment can inspire the entire company.

It brings the CEO closer to the people and lowers him from his inaccessible pedestal, without losing leadership or respect, on the contrary, gaining much more the trust and respect of his people when he becomes accessible in a horizontal no hierarchical corporate culture.


It’s time to hang the suit, to drop the mask that had me trapped inside the thousand roles that I expected it to fulfill: as a husband, as a father, as a boss … it’s time to roll up my sleeves and let my tattoos fly to the wind … It’s time to ignore what they’ll say, it’s time to give without expecting anything in return, it’s time to thank the pain, the blows, the betrayals.

It’s time to be me after decades that seem like centuries where I tried to “fit in”, it’s time to unleash my real me. It is time to paint my skin with all the esoterism that kept me awake while the world, as a sleepwalker, dreamed that I lived.

It is time to free my soul, to walk among angels, to embrace trees, to sing unsung songs to life and death, to forgive the one whom I loved the most but almost killed me.

Well yes, I’m a tattoed CEO. I belong to a new breed of “expert generalists”, of knowmads, of knowledge junkies, of being an authentic and eternal apprentice, of living 5, 10, 15 years ahead of the world even if nobody understands me and embrace how different I am and will always be.

The beauty of all this is that there are sentient beings that feel me, they do not understand why, they just want more. It is time to stop fearing myself, to let the horse of fire gallop at full strenght, to let fly the mane in the wind, wild, immortal as the stardust of which I am made.

It’s time to go back to being dark at night, to dance alone, to write poetry, to be felt and accepted among wild dolphins, it’s time to stop trying to understand me because words do not even serve to describe what I feel, what I am, why I am how I am and where I am going.

Its time to shine like the stars.


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Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and

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“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

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