Why CEOs Should “Waste Time” on the Internet, Like the Rest of Us

Picture in your mind the archetypal CEO. Chances are, your mental image included some sort of handheld digital device. Most CEOs are inseparable from their smartphones. They’re either answering emails, scheduling meetings, or dealing with sundry other logistics, and they’re doing it remotely.

One thing they’re probably not doing enough of, suggests Forbes contributor Mike Myatt, is reading the internets.

Let’s be very clear, here: Myatt isn’t recommending that CEOs start whiling away the hours clicking through their ex’s Facebook page. Nor is he suggesting they form fantasy sports teams and skip board meetings to act as the commissioner. No, what he’s suggesting is that chief executives, like the rest of their staff, spend a little time using the web as a learning tool.

He writes:

“While many CEOs suffer from email, iPad and Smartphone addiction, the time spent on these devices is largely related to email, scheduling and logistics. The big miss here is far too little time is spent using the web as a digital learning medium. Successful CEOs don’t delegate business intelligence, learning, and listening — they do it themselves.”

His list of 25 recommended sites includes some obvious ones that many execs might overlook — their own company’s website, as well as their competitors’ — and sites that feel like too much fun to be legit learning tools, but aren’t. (Mashable, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)

The bottom line is that keeping on top of the competition and general trends in the industry is never really a waste of time — even if it requires you to noodle around the internet in order to do so.

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