Building Trust: CEOs Needed

clear empty podiumWilliam G. Margaritis, SVP Global Communications and Investor Relations for FedEx, also chairs the Arthur W. Page Society, a leading professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives. He recently gave an interesting lecture on Truth, Trust And Reputational Intelligence. In analyzing what corporate American needs to do to bridge the gigantic reputation gap caused by the economic meltdown, he highlights the need for CEOs to step up.

“There was a time, perhaps, when Star Trek’s Mr. Spock would have made a great CEO, but not in this era when people who beam up tweets can bring your company down. It does not compute today to see CEOs who appear focused too tightly on numbers,” he says.

To illustrate,  he reports that an survey by pollster Frank Luntz of business leaders found that three‐quarters of respondents said people not profit should be a CEO’s top priority.  In fact, that survey found that many leaders even think reputation performance should pay a big role in a CEO’s compensation. (Now there’s an idea!)

Margaritis conclusion: “Reputational intelligence cannot be instilled without the leadership and personal participation of the CEO.”

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