ceo scandal
Business Tips

How to Avoid a Public Scandal as a CEO

As a CEO, the last thing you want to do is have your name attached to a scandal. That kind of thing is bad for business, bad for your future prospects, and well, just plain bad, But, of course, a public scandal is far from inevitable, and below, are some top tips to help you keep your name out of the press (in a bad way) no matter what.

 

Keep Your Finances Cleaner Than a Minimalist Home

First things first: you absolutely must do all you can to keep your company’s finances and your personal piggy bank as separate as oil and water. Mixing business and personal funds is not only frowned upon, but it’s enough to make any accountant or auditor pass out from shock, as the row surrounding Michael Kassan has shown. Use separate accounts, get an ironclad grip on your financial policies, and make sure every penny is accounted for. This way, when someone shouts, “Audit!” you can be as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce.

 

Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep

Remember when you were a kid and promised to eat all your vegetables in exchange for dessert? How did that turn out? As a CEO, making promises you can’t deliver is a surefire way to end up with egg on your face (and not in the good, breakfast-y way). Set realistic goals, manage expectations, and communicate openly. Your stakeholders will thank you for your honesty—or at least, they won’t chase you with pitchforks when things go awry.

 

Keep Your Friends Close and Your Social Media Closer

In an age where a tweet can be seen around the world faster than you can say, “What have I done?” keeping a tight leash on your company’s social media is crucial. Think before you tweet, pause before you post, and never, ever go on a rant online. If you have doubts, imagine explaining your post to a sweet old lady on the bus. If she’d blush or gasp, it’s probably not press release material.

 

Stay Humble and Stay Out of Trouble

Power can be intoxicating, and not always in a good, “I feel fantastic!” way, but more like a “Why did I think karaoke on the conference table was a good idea?” way. Keeping your ego in check isn’t just about being nice; it’s smart business. Lead with integrity, treat people with respect, and remember where you came from. Essentially, don’t let success go to your head—it’s a short trip from there to the headlines.

 

Always Have a Plan B (and C, and D…)

In business, as in life, stuff happens. Having a contingency plan for when things go sideways can mean the difference between a minor hiccup and a full-blown scandal. Prepare for the worst-case scenarios. Have crisis management strategies in place and a solid PR team on speed dial, because sometimes, the best defense is a good offense.

Scandal? What scandal? If you do all of the above, you can stay squeaky clean.

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