Tips on Reputation Recovery & CEO Confidence

January 31, 2009

Tips on Reputation Recovery & CEO Confidence

  The reputation of business leaders continues to fall. We have seen study after study stating that confidence in CEOs is at an all-time low.  A Booz & Company survey (Recession Response: Why Companies are Making the Wrong Moves) from December 2008 among senior managers learned that 40% are unsure that their leaders have a credible plan to deal with the economic crisis. And even more—46%, are uncertain that their leaders can carry out the plan even if they believed in the plan’s foundation.

What surprised me was the perceived slowing of “green” efforts.  Four out of 10 report that “green” and CSR efforts will “significantly” diminish due to the economic downturn. The industries most expected to experience this slow down are transportation and energy. Booz & Co. suggests the following antidotes to this crisis in confidence:

  • Get a clear perspective on your competitive set and your position in it
  • Put together a plan that is reasonable considering that time and resources are limited. Choose a plan that can make a difference quickly
  • Communicate and execute. Earn your stakeholders confidence by communication and getting things done.

Reputations are tightly linked with good communications. How else to get everyone in lockstep in difficult times and especially as workers are distracted by financial concerns and layoffs.


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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 corporate and CEO reputations.

  • Paul Seaman
    Posted at 11:19h, 01 February Reply

    Trust is a funny ol’ thing. We are a bit short of people to trust just now. Good, one might say. A bit more scepticism (a bit less trust) might have kept us safer all along. During the boom times nobody stopped to ask tough questions about risk – they took too much on trust instead. Take banks. We cant have it both ways. We dont trust banks now because they were so profligate before. Being mean makes them hateful, but more trustworthy. Fact is lots of firms have retained the trust they need. And you could go further: we do in some sense still trust banks, since they are still doing most of what most of us ever used them for. I discuss this here:

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