CEOs in small businesses tend to be jacks of all trades. They are often the key salesperson, the de facto operations expert, the sage of all things financial, the primary strategist, and the owner of culture. Of course, some of these responsibilities recede as a business grows and functional experts join the team. One role, however, that CEOs must embrace and retain even as a business scales is that of Communicator in Chief. Regardless of business size, the CEO is always the most important voice of a company and the key architect of its messages.
Many CEOs enter their leadership role in a small business with professional experience in finance, operations, sales, or strategy. However, few, if any, have prior career practice in communications. While MBA programs tackle traditional business skill sets, they rarely address the practical communication skills a CEO must use in a small business context. We know personally what it is like to enter a CEO role being completely unprepared in the ways of communication. When we initially donned our CEO hats, we had no sense of why we should communicate, its importance, and how to do it systematically.
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