Viewpoint: Why building trust is a must for CEOs in 2019

Boston Business Journal

Davos, Switzerland, home to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, was even colder than Boston was last week. In my native Australia, December 1 marks the beginning of summer, so this business of weather is all relative. The business of CEO trust, however, is an absolute — at least for any company striving to earn and maintain heightened growth.

Trust is a topic near and dear to my work as a CEO and as a person who is deeply committed to leadership. When given the opportunity to speak last week in Davos on the topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, and how CEOs can affect meaningful change by building trust with the people who matter most, I jumped at it.

Here’s why building CEO trust must be a priority and what my team at Reputation Institute, a data and insights company, and very recent Boston implant from Cambridge, knows to be true:

●  14 percent of a company’s reputation directly correlates to CEO leadership; what a CEO says, how they act, and what they do matters.

●  CEO familiarity enhances stakeholder admiration, trust, and overall feelings of goodwill towards a given company. 

●  Being responsible, behaving ethically, and caring about social causes drives almost one-third of a CEO’s reputation.

●  CEOs who prioritize doing good through corporate responsibility earn greater trust than those who do not.

●  Approximately 35 percent of a CEO’s legacy is defined by financial performance, with the remaining 65 percent by non-financial criteria.

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