CEOs’ Thought Leadership – Liking

(This is one in a serie of articles applying Robert B. Caldini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion on CEOs’ Thought Leadership).


CEOs' Thought Leadership - BeMyBest

People tend to follow who they like. (Source:


The Prinicple of LikingCialdini says that we’re more likely to be influenced by people we like. Likability comes in many forms people might be similar or familiar to us, they might give us compliments, or we may just simply trust them.Companies that use sales agents from within the community employ this principle with huge success. People are more likely to buy from people like themselves, from friends, and from people they know and respect.


Cialdinis 5th Principal of Persuasion –Liking

This LIKE has nothing to do with clicking a button on Facebook (although that might sometimes be where they start…). Although it’s true that opposites can sometimes attract, it’s human nature that people like those who like them and who are genuinely interested in them – likable people and like-minded people tend to make a good combination.


It’s all too easy to:

  1. be passive in your online presence,
  2. broadcast rather than interact,
  3. confuse numbers with engagement.


But if you make the effort, you’re almost certain to find things that you have in common with any given individual that might open up a dialogue that can unlock new possibilities and ways of thinking. Why not invest the time to tell someone that you liked and appreciated what they have written or contributed? By doing so, you :

  1. create a positive feedback loop for those you praised to do more of what you appreciate,
  2. make yourself and what you valued visible,
  3. let both theirs and your network to know your values and what connects the two of you.


Needless to say, your appreciation is sincere and coming from the bottom of your heart. The opposite will become painfully obvious and backfire.

As CEO, it’s painstaking important that you communicate something of yourself rather than just being the face of your organization. Using humour can be a great way to break the ice and show the human aspect of you. Yet, humour can be subjective and culturally coded. An online platform might leave you more open to misinterpretation than if you were face-to-face. The last thing you want is to go viral for all the wrong reasons. However, as long as you are a sensible person offline, the rewards of your online presence will certainly outweigh the risks. May be a good idea to practice on you trusted colleagues before you make your humour public!

Why not take a few minutes to consider your online persona and how likeable it is?  What are you going to do to put your best foot forward in the future?

Persuasion - CEO thought leadership - Bemybest

6 Principles of Persuasion



Check on the other five principles of Reciprocity, Scarcity, Authority, Consistency & Consensus.


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