When investigating on opinion leaders, the primary reflex is to Google them. And then anything can happen, from excessively flattering to devastating. Interviews, press articles, blogs, videos, public appearances, all contribute to build their image.

The way they speak out has a definite impact on the way they are perceived. Most of these leaders, whether CEO’s of a Fortune 500 company or less exposed board members of public or private companies, can rely on a Chief of Staff or a Head of Corporate Communication or PR to organise it. 

Very few Senior Executives in career transition have experience in this time-consuming exercise that requires a true strategy. Most of them have completed a LinkedIn profile and feel they have made a huge step to build their personal branding. Let’s assume today that this is a minimum prerequisite to stay in the game.

Speaking out helps them organise their exposure and posture. The topics selected and the media chosen will help establish their personal identity and leadership style. And by taking a stand on global issues linked to sector or business changes as well as soft skill management, they will show a vision and an ability to set the agenda.

Although there are no predefined rules, social media should definitely play an important role in their communication. LinkedIn of course, but Twitter and Facebook can also convey elements of their speech. The appropriate media will very much depend on their professional environment.

Active participation to trade or industry associations, alumni networks, sports associations, NGOs, task forces and special projects are ideal environments to express your convictions and put your leadership forward. 

Publishing articles, editorials, notes and books to attract followers on the social media profiles also helps increase their exposure. But the key factor to a greater exposure is a change of mindset. It is positive when understanding why and how, but on the other hand an overdose of info means no info at all.

This critical exercise during a career transition period must go on after repositioning in a new activity. Speaking out should be a permanent posture for managers and senior executives.

Let’s do it! 

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