Continuing the LinkedIn and CEO theme throughout this week:

matchI teach LinkedIn to nonprofits and small businesses, professional practice firms and all demographics of professionals in all walks of life. I convey the need to tell “why” you do what you do rather than “what.”

The most common complaint I hear from middle- and lower-level staff is that they are expected to make changes to their LinkedIn  profiles to support the brand of the firm, but the upper echelons, who are more senior–older, or with greater ownership–do not. The nonbelievers, so to speak, expect the warriors to protect and defend, without benefit of the example shown by leadership.

CEOs, don’t lead by exception; lead by exceptional example.

Get your value proposition out on LinkedIn in your own words, and work it to the best of your ability. Demonstrate why you do what you do so others around you can be inspired and follow the vision you lead by. Show it again on a company profile page on LinkedIn.

And do not discount the fact that your position as CEO is ephemeral and fleeting, either by choice in a newly found position, or not planned such as a change in ownership and you are replaced. A LinkedIn profile is organic and you make the changes to reflect your up-to-date status. Your need for a great LinkedIn profile should not be immediate when you need it badly: it should be ever ready and require a slight tweak to reflect a change in status. Preparation for the unexpected–isn’t that how you lead?

Now others can more readily see the wisdom of your leadership, to hire you, or it may inspire others to collaborate with you. You never know who is searching for the right reason “why you do what you do.”

As the CEO of your career and your brand, and your firm as well, you need to be best in class everyday. Be so on LinkedIn.