Confidence in Business Heading Downward

November 03, 2006

Confidence in Business Heading Downward

U.S News and Harvard conduct a leadership poll each year among Americans. Not surprisingly, confidence in business leadership is devastatingly low and still declining. The public’s confidence is highest for the military and medical professions although barely reaching scores above “moderate.” Other areas witnessing slipping leadership confidence are education, religious organizations, congress and the executive branch. Lowest on the list is the press although their reputation has stabilized since one year ago. Some silver lining.

According to the report, 83 percent of Americans think corporate leaders are more concerned with the bottom line than running companies and only 39 percent believe that leaders have high ethical standards. Leadership reputation is in need of a good fix. Seems about time that we start seeing business confidence pointing upward.

Despite cynicism over the war in Iraq, one reason behind confidence in military leadership may be due to the recognition that military leaders are not in the game for compensation and perk packages. U.S. News reporter Silla Brush writes that a clear mission and high ethical standards may account for the stronger showing for the military and medical professions in this year’s survey.

No matter how you slice, those of us in the leadership business have our work cut out for us.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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