A CTA or Ice in Your Stomach?

A CTA or Ice in Your Stomach?

Category : 2020

Online marketers call them CTAs or “call-to-action” phrases. You see them on buttons and in banners on websites as these subliminal (like a brick to the side of your head) invitations cajole, encourage, or outright tell you to “convert” your perusing to a purchase. Experts in social media marketing believe some words compel you better than others, lines like . . .

·        Yes, I want it.

·        Start your journey toward . . .

·        You’re running out of time.

·        Reserve your spot now!

During what we previously called a normal market, similar urgings felt like a clarion call, compelling an executive to jump at an opportunity, take a risk on a start-up, maybe even make a 90 degree turn in a career path. But after watching over 60 million people in the U.S. file for unemployment or 28% of the employees in one major airline take extended leave or exit packages, many leaders wonder if longings for change are an invitation to something better or a Siren call to a career shipwreck.

For some C-level executives at the top of their organizations, staying where they are and playing the pandemic ponies is paying off well. Peloton Interactive’s William Lynch and Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Edward Stack have both reaped stock-based gains of over $60M this year. One entertainment executive gave up his remaining 2020 salary for restricted stock grants equal to the $700,000 he was due. After the company stock recovered from its March low, the grant is now worth $1.3M on paper and the executive’s 2020 awards have appreciated by $4M.

Maybe what talented executives need at this moment is more of what Scandinavians call Is i magen—ice in the stomach. Roughly translated, the phrase refers to the ability to stay calm in a critical situation and take decisive action at just the right moment. A wise leader with ice in the stomach doesn’t hastily grab an exit package out of fear or naively assume “things will get back to normal” after a panacetic event like an election, or a vaccine, or whatever.

For some leaders, this is the time to act and make a change. For those rightly waiting for the ice in the stomach to warm a bit, there are other priorities worth some attention. An executive will be better prepared for an opportune moment if he/she invests time now to—

Become proficient with virtual technology.

Companies are pushing the dates when people will return to the office into mid 2021 or beyond. Zoom, Teams, Hangouts, or the platform du jour are not temporary solutions, and a wise executive will stop treating them like they are. Agile organizations are implementing new (and often better) ways for employees to engage virtually. An executive wanting to demonstrate relevance will recognize that always relying on others to manage an online meeting will soon have the same tone of asking an admin to “take a memo” or “make a Xerox copy.”

Sharpen your on-screen presence.

Television actors, famous people, and your local news anchor look poised and polished on a screen because they practice looking good on camera. Most people are not naturally at ease and fully engaged staring into a lens or a wall of faces. You want to reach a level of natural comfort that communicates you are comfortable, likeable, confident, and authentic.

Without resorting to watching bizarre YouTube videos for ideas, there are plenty of resources available for upping your on-camera game. Here are a few—

·        How to Elevate Your Presence in a Virtual Meeting https://hbr.org/2020/04/how-to-elevate-your-presence-in-a-virtual-meeting.

·        Camera Confidence: 5 Tips for Better Television Camera Presence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nplty9Va1rM.

·        Instantly look Natural on Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU9-0UfK1jg.

Refresh your digital footprint.

Companies focused on survival and stability for the near-term still need versatility and innovation to thrive in the months ahead. An executive as serious about being positioned for the future as surviving the present will invest time in making certain his/her digital presence, message, and branding are current, engaging, and in harmony (resume, bio, LinkedIn, etc. all say the same thing). Most executive roles are filled by personal connections or using executive search firms so a relevant and fresh digital presence on LinkedIn and other platforms is critical. Leapfrog Executive Services can equip you with the brand clarity and marketing resources to act with confidence and certainty. Call us to learn more.