Integrity Makes a Comeback

July 10, 2010

Integrity Makes a Comeback

  It must be Saturday. My head is clearing after a short week’s work. Got some work done this morning which is why I can now blog guiltlessly. Wish I knew more about James LeBron so I could comment here on his reputational downfall on the streets of New York? Or I could move on to comment on the nuclear reputational fallout of Mel Gibson after a new domestic violence  incident circulated this week. Oh, I forgot Lindsay Lohan who I saw in a newspaper headline while on the subway crying about spending 90 days in jail for bad behavior. On the whole, celebrity reputation does not interest me as much as company and CEO reputation and there’s plenty to think about when it comes to that misbehavior. Seems like the heat wave has fried celebrity brains this week (wherever they were) or they are jealous of the corporate scandals grabbing all the attention.
Back to the real stuff. A new study by NYSE Euronext found that 3 out of 4 CEOs believe that they are doing a reasonable job protecting their company reputations. That’s a pretty confident group because if you asked me, I’d say that if that is the case, why are there so many reputation stumbles every day? I would need more than two hands to count how many major reputation disasters occur in a week’s time. And those CEOs would probably swap 90 days in the slammer with Lindsay Lohan if someone could tell them that there would be an end to all he scrutiny on their reputations. Reputation damaging headlines linger for far more than 90 days with the Internet’s neverending longevity of wrongdoing.

The study also found that the leading criteria of building positive company reputation are Honesty, Integrity, Ethics, Transparency and Leadership By Example. These qualities never seem to change (for good reason) although I would hasten to add that Integrity is making a comeback as a reputation driver. Certain words come and go and I have not heard Integrity for some time…so welcome back. Transparency, Ethics, Honesty, Transparency and Leadership have made their rounds for some time now. As many of you who read my blog know, I think that Effective Communications deserves more credit as well as anything to do with promoting a reputation for Safety. Post 9-11, safety as a reputation driver is key whether it is keeping food safe, our privacy safe, our shores safe, our medicines safe, our toys safe, our kids safe, and our skies safe.  I could go on and on.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

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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