CEO Capital: A Guide to Building CEO Reputation and Company Success / Edition 1

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Research confirms what every executive knows to be true: CEO and corporate reputation are inextricably linked and have a proven impact on a company's bottom line. Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross, the pioneer of landmark CEO research and a senior executive at the legendary public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, describes in practical, straightforward terms the successful strategies CEOs can follow to earn and sustain enduring corporate reputations.

Everyone with a stake in executive reputation and leadership-communications professionals, consultants, search committees, corporate boards, shareholders, aspiring leaders and, of course, CEOs themselves-will find CEO Capital to be an invaluable guide to corporate success and a steady compass for navigating the shifting seas of commerce. It isolates best practices for CEOs as they journey through their first 100 days to their last 100 hours.

In her book, Dr. Gaines-Ross:

• Demonstrates the importance of CEO reputation to a company's reputation

• Identifies the elements of CEO reputation

• Establishes a working model for building both CEO and corporate reputation

• Describes how CEOs can master the stages of their tenure to bolster their company's standing and ultimate destiny

Topics addressed include preparing for CEO transition, putting employees first, setting an agenda, declaring what matters, communicating personally and symbolically, planning for the first anniversary, minding all stakeholders, leading with thought, reinventing and executing, and leaving a legacy.

CEO Capital's first section demonstrates why securing CEO reputation demands our undivided attention. Similar to any other wealth-creating asset, CEO reputation needs to be invested in, earned and leveraged over the long term to reap enduring benefits. The next section examines the CEO's mind-set and behavior through the five stages of executive tenure. It explains how each step provides distinct opportunities to build credibility, integrity, and internal communications that lead to long-term viability. The final section discusses corporate trends that will affect chief executives in the twenty-first century. It also addresses how executives can meet the challenges of a society characterized by ever-accelerating change, scrutiny, and demanding constituencies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an excellent book of dos and don'ts for CEOs, potential CEOs and especially for the PR people who must help them get their message out to their various publics." (Public Relations Quarterly, Summer 2003)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471268079
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/20/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. LESLIE GAINES-ROSS is chief knowledge and research officer at Burson-Marsteller, a global communications consultancy with more than 1,600 employees worldwide. She has been the architect behind landmark CEO and corporate reputation research and the creator of, the acclaimed Web site devoted exclusively to CEO news and information. Prior to joining Burson-Marsteller, Dr. Gaines-Ross was Fortune magazine's director of communications and marketing.

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Table of Contents




Chapter 1. The CEO Effect.

Chapter 2. CEO Reputation: A Capital Investment.

Chapter 3. How CEO Capital Is Built.


Chapter 4. The Countdown: Beware the Two-Headed Monster.

Chapter 5. The First Hundred Days: CEOs under the Magnifying Glass.

Chapter 6. The First Year: From Pupil to CEO Persona.

Chapter 7. The Turning Point: Leading through Thought.

Chapter 8. Revision and Reinvention: Recasting through Succession, Leaving a Legacy.


Chapter 9. Over the Horizon: Future Trends and Suggestions.



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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2003

    CEO Capital by Leslie Gaines-Ross

    Immense credit must be given to Dr. Gaines-Ross who bravely and successfully takes on, notwithstanding the post Enron anti-CEO environment, the hypersensitive issue of CEO reputation. Yes, agrees Gaines-Ross, being a high profile, ego obsessed CEO is asking for trouble and is to be avoided like the plague. She refuses, however, to engage in the now fashionable tendency toward unrestrained CEO bashing, preferring instead a reasoned, astute and carefully researched analysis of the CEO's role. While adding her voice to those who deride media hyped personalities, what she refers to as big "C" Celebrity CEOs, she cautions that old fashioned leadership is still desirable. When engaged in by talented CEOs, it may, indeed should, lead to the creation of an executive persona. Such a persona need not require media exposure and is entirely compatible with sound corporate practice. Such persona bearing CEOs are small "c" celebrated CEOs, who "by dint of strong leadership, discriminating vision, force of character and other admirable traits become celebrated by their employees, their industry, their peers, and occasionally (though not necessarily) even the media for jobs well done." Gaines-Ross? book amounts to a much needed, intellectually honest warning not to let the anti-CEO backlash go too far. Refusing to jump blindly onto the anti-CEO bandwagon as have so many business pundits, she stresses that executive leadership is still necessary and if effectively and ethically rendered is something which should not be hidden under the rug but promoted openly. In pursuing the cause of sound, old fashioned corporate leadership, she lays out a roadmap, based on original research, on how CEOs may repair their reputations, stressing among other things the need to communicate internally, build a management team, develop a thematic stamp and a vision. She deserves immense praise not only for her honest appraisal of the role of CEOs in today?s business environment but also for presenting an immensely practical and useful format on how to lead ethically, energetically and effectively. A major, original addition to the literature on leadership and reputation ... no doubt about it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2002

    A Much-Needed Guide to Corporate Leadership

    With the collapse of the ¿celebrity CEO¿ currency it was perhaps inevitable and certainly necessary that someone should examine what value, if any, the public reputation of a CEO carries. In CEO Capital, Dr. Gaines-Ross ably dismantles many of the existing myths of CEO reputation and presents a well-researched, clearly organized guide to corporate leadership. As it turns out, CEO reputation does matter, but not in the ways that we have become accustomed to think about it in the recent past. CEO Capital provides measurable proof of the considerable market impact of a positive CEO reputation and how that reputation is built through, integrity, communication, team building, planning and vision. The tenure of every CEO is new and uncharted territory. For the talented few who make it there and for the teams they rely on to support them ¿ board members, search committees, top level executives, marketing and communications officers ¿ CEO Capital is a much needed handbook for survival and success.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2003

    The Quintessential Guide to CEO Self-aggrandizement

    This 2003 book would have been perfect in the pre-Enron era of Ceocentric compnies. Well researched, ably told, all it misses is today's essential message: Build the company, do your job, and your canonization will be a by-product of your success, not the other way around.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2003

    any CEO's "must-read"!

    I sure hope for the sake of America's economy that CEOs wisen up. By reading this book, they and their advisors will go a long way in turning things around for us all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2002

    Some simple rule for CEOs

    A remarkably well written book that clearly establishes the steps necessary for CEOs (or any executive worried about their individual "brand") to maximize their value to the companies they lead. The book is filled with scores of practical do's and don'ts, and provides not-to-be-ignored lessons for anyone moving into, or sitting in, the CEO's office. Most book introductions are stale and forgettable. Not this one. It tells a wonderful story about how the author became so interested in this issue, and personalizes why it is so relevant in today's times. I for one, would feel much better about the companies I invest in, knowing that their CEOs have read this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2002

    CEO Leadership

    CEO Capital is an easy to read and useful book that provides readers with a common sense approach to leading successful companies. Gaines-Ross presents a timely strategic framework for managing CEO reputation in uncertain and risky times. Her straightforward prose outlines what CEOs should be doing each step of the way, particularly in light of shortened time tables, heightened media scrutiny and accelerating demands from powerful special interest groups. Her description of what new CEOs should be doing in their first 100 days is right on. The book does an excellent job of reminding CEOs and aspiring leaders alike that their reputation and credibility are their most valuable assets and should not be left to chance.

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