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Want to Be a Better CEO? Work on Your Writing

Image: Getty

Strong writing skills aren’t just for bloggers, marketers, and salespeople.

BY HEATHER R. MORGAN @HEATHERREYHAN

By age 25, I had lived in more than six countries and bootstrapped a million-dollar business all by myself. None of that would have been possible if I wasn’t a good writer. The power of cold email and persuasive copywriting helped me create countless opportunities in business and life. Here are a few ways sharpening your writing skills can help you reach new levels as an entrepreneur, and enhance your life overall. 

Get to know your team on a deeper level.

I’ve been managing high-performing remote teams for a decade, well before the pandemic. While Zoom calls are a nice way to get to know your team, one-on-one calls are time-consuming and don’t scale. However, it only takes a few moments to send an email or Slack message. Interacting with team members that don’t directly report to you is a great way to get a better pulse on your company.  

Simply asking a few questions (which you could even automate) lets you know where there’s a big opportunity versus a potential fire to put out. If you find something interesting, you can always follow up with a one-on-one meeting. 

Become a better manager at scale.

One of my leadership secrets is great documentation. Not only does it save time with onboarding new hires, it also helps things scale with consistency. The best process documentation is detailed and thorough, but still as simple and short as possible.   

Create great morale.

Great writing is electric. It draws people to you and rallies them behind your mission, helping you make your dreams a reality. While digital content like video and images help with business storytelling, writing is the backbone of any brand. Even the marketing plans and creative strategy behind most digital media content requires written instructions. Regularly sharing positive messages (even very brief) with your team and leadership can go a long way to keeping everyone motivated and excited. A compelling email can be the difference between getting everyone’s buy-in versus having a project die in its infancy. 

Create new opportunities without a big budget.

I don’t have to tell you how important your social-media brand is these days, especially on platforms like LinkedIn. Creating and sharing content online can help you recruit new hires, gain customers and business partners, and even find investors sometimes.At age 24, I started to amass a large email list, and quickly became a major thought leader in the space I was defining. My tiny, bootstrapped company was beating corporations with hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. Many of our best hires were avid readers of my writing. People loved my content because it was unique, irreverent, and genuine. I firmly believe none of this would have happened if I had just hired a ghostwriter or marketer to run our blog.

Become more agile.

The best part of building your personal brand is it stays with you, whether you stay at that company forever or decide to found something new. This is especially important and valuable if you’re a serial entrepreneur, or decide to transition from being a founder to an investor or value-add adviser. 

Inc. helps entrepreneurs change the world. Get the advice you need to start, grow, and lead your business today. Subscribe here for unlimited access.

FEB 10, 2021

Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post.The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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