Graceful exits and advice

December 12, 2011

Graceful exits and advice

You’ve heard this statement before. “What you spend years building, someone can  destroy overnight.” I have probably written this several times on this blog when talking about crisis and reputation risk and I certainly wrote something very close in my book on reputation recovery. Well today it was cited in an article about GM‘s former CEO Rick Wagoner. The article was about his graduation speech made at Virginia Commonwealth University. A short 12 minute speech about “taking risks and accepting defeat gracefully.”  He has been silent for over three years. Talk about grace.  But in his closing lines, he made the statement about building and losing reputation which Mother Teresa apparently said (I did not know and am glad to have learned the origin of this statement). And he added his own two cents at the end to this famous piece of advice about reputation. He said “Build anyway.” A good reminder to those who wonder if being CEO is worth it or leading a country, I might add.

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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 corporate and CEO reputations.

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