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

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471268079
ISBN-10: 0471268070
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Editorial Reviews


"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)

From the Inside Flap

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471268070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471268079
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,033,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In her role as Chief Reputation Strategist, Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross leads Weber Shandwick's reputation consulting services and proprietary thought leadership development. She is the architect behind ground-breaking, award-winning research into CEO and corporate reputation, executive team reputation, leadership transitions, reputation sustainability and recovery. Dr. Gaines-Ross is based in the New York office and is a member of Weber Shandwick's global senior management team.

She is one of the world's most widely recognized experts on CEO reputation -- how CEO reputations are built, enhanced and protected. Gaines-Ross spearheaded the first comprehensive research on CEO reputation and its impact on corporate reputation and performance. She was the architect of 'On the Minds of CEOs,' an international survey of CEOs that was conducted with Fortune and the creator of, the Web site devoted exclusively to reputation news and information. Her book, CEO Capital: A Guide to Building CEO Reputation and Company Success, was published in 2003 by John Wiley & Sons. She is a monthly columnist for Ethical Corporation's newsletter.

Before joining Weber Shandwick, Dr. Gaines-Ross was Chief Knowledge & Research Officer Worldwide at Burson-Marsteller and Marketing & Communications Director at Fortune. At Fortune, she initiated several groundbreaking research programs including 'Leveraging Corporate Equity' and 'Brands at the Crossroads.' She is also widely recognized for her strategic insights into and analysis of Fortune's Most Admired Companies Survey. Dr. Gaines-Ross was a 1995 winner of Time Inc.'s President's Award. She is also the co-author of FORTUNE Cookies: Management Wit and Wisdom, which was published by Vintage Books.

Gaines-Ross's work has been featured in Financial Times, The Times (London), The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Advertising Age, PRWeek, Forbes, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Chief Executive, Business 2.0, Across The Board and in many other publications around the world. She has also appeared on CNN and CNBC. Dr. Gaines-Ross is a frequent public speaker on CEO and corporate reputation management. She has lectured at The Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, USC, Wharton School of Business, New York University and Columbia University. Gaines-Ross was also a speaker at the 2003 World Economic Forum Governor's Meeting. She serves on the Executive Advisory Panel of Corporate Reputation Review and was inducted into the Academy of Women Achievers of the YWCA of the City of New York in 2000.

Dr. Gaines-Ross' blog can be found at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Naomi Moneypenny on May 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In CEO Capital, Leslie Gaines-Ross has written an insightful and enlightening book for those who want to increase the positive visibility and reputation of their CEO. It is a surprise to this reviewer that more books have not been written on the subject of how to master the art of building your reputation when both your own personal future and corporate future may be resting on it.
The celebrity hungry society of today looks to corporate movers and shakers especially the CEO as icons of a particular company. Think about Lee Iacocca, Jack Welch, Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to mention just a few. How much of your opinion of these companies (and notice I don't even have to mention which companies they run/ran) is based on your perceived image of the CEO? The phrase `you are your company' has never been more true, especially in the post Enron & Arthur Anderson world. How has your opinion of Enron changed now that you know more about Jeff Skilling and Andrew Fastow? Despite any fraud at Enron being committed by the few and not the masses of the organization, our entire perception of Enron has shifted to the iconic few.
Part I of CEO Capital is a contextual look at CEO capital: what it is, where it comes from and how it can be built. Gaines-Ross draws us in by looking at the CEO Effect by citing some examples as far back as 1985 starting with Roberto Goizueta, then CEO of Coca-Cola and the whole `New Coke' revolt, that could have been a fatal disaster for the company. But Goizueta, trading on his CEO capital, not only avoided being removed but was able to bring the company back even stronger.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Idil Cakim on January 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Until I read this book I did not realize the importance of communicating the 'how','why', 'when' of each executive decision. Given the crisis environment dominating corporate America today, I think CEOs need to add another word to their title and become chief executive and communications officers. Without communicating and finding their voice as leaders, I think CEOs will have a hard time earning public trust. This book provides a great blue print for understanding the commotion we read about in the papers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martin Bounds on December 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roop T. on December 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
CEO Capital is an easy to read and useful book that provides leaders 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 that their reputation and credibility are their most valuable assets and should not be left to chance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janice M. Friedman on February 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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.
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