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EXECUTIVE PRESENCE: 10 Key Points for a Positive Reputation

by Terri L. Williams

reputationReputation is built by character. Character is formed by integrity and fair play.”
Kevin T. Jackson
Author, Building Reputational Capital
Strategies for Integrity and Fair Play that Improve the Bottom Line

Our knowledge of business scandals such as banking irregularities, government human rights violations, and tax improprieties in recent years have gained enormous momentum through traditional media channels, and the explosive usage and impact of social media. The general definition of social media is computer-mediated technologies that allow individuals, companies, governments, and other organizations to view, create and share information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.


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From an Executive Presence Perspective we have a myriad of lessons learned from Enron (business fraud and stock inflation), Ford (customer deaths due to auto-Pinto), Bank of America (mortgage crisis), General Motors (customer deaths due to automative ignition switch ), and recently Wells Fargo (illegal customer accounts and illegal repossession military personnel autos while they were deployed) that a reputation is a company’s most valuable asset, and there are a number of factors affect a company and an individual’s reputation.

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In 2004, author, Kevin T. Jackson, penned Building Reputational Capital Strategies for Integrity and Fair Play that Improve the Bottom Line, which provided a number of key strategies to use in building a positive reputation. In particular, Jackson advocates an ethical way to do business and elevates “soft” concepts, such as civic responsibility, ethics, and reputation, into real factors affecting your corporate bottom line.

Kevin T. Jackson is a consultant for organizations and leaders worldwide. He is Associate Professor of Legal and Ethical Studies at Fordham University’s School of Business in New York City. Dr. Jackson has delivered seminars on ethics in the securities industry for the NASD, and gives frequent presentations. He often comments on corporate legal and ethical issues for the media and has been interviewed on CBS, CNN, Geek World News Fox News and National Public Radio.

Here are 10 key points for a positive reputation:
1. A company’s reputation is determined by how well it works with its largest audience.
2. Companies with good reputations can work together to increase their mutual value.
3. Consider the drive to enhance your corporate reputation as an extension of the late 1980s trend of businesses engaging in philanthropic activities.
4. Corporate credibility is the most important issue facing corporations today.
5. Reputation dictates sales success: one survey found that four out of five Americans consider a company’s reputation when they select a product.
6. Reputation influences investing patterns. Social investing is now a $500 billion a year discipline favoring companies that display certain values.
7. Reputation should not be confused with image, identity, good will or brand.
8. Think of non-financial intangibles, such as culture, trust and integrity, in monetary terms. They affect your company’s long-range value.
9. When a company states its intention to resolve a problem, it shapes opinions.
10. Work with activists who can help your firm avoid negative, prolonged situations.

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