Posted by: johnocunningham | January 27, 2009

Conduct Counts In Communication

Sending the Wrong Message


The news in recent weeks has starkly illustrated how companies and firms can send incredibly damaging messages to their shareholders, clients and the general public solely through the actions of their leaders.


Whether it is the president of Merrill Lynch lavishly redecorating his office and handing out executive bonuses in the wake of bungled, highly leveraged investments, or Citigroup taking delivery of corporate jets after accepting federal assistance, or AIG executives taking exotic vacations and cashing large bonus checks after begging for taxpayer support, in each case the executives diminished the value of their company brands.


These are all organizations who depend on the trust of their clients. Trust is essential to the decision-making process of those purchasing insurance, investments or loans. But the leaders of these companies, through their actions, raised doubts about whether these instiutions can be entrusted with funds put into their custody by shareholders, clients and taxpayers as well.


So if you are an organizational leader, it is important to ask yourself: What can I do to send the right messages? How can I communicate, through my actions, that our brand is trustworthy? Your thoughts on this are welcomed.



  1. Trust is essential in the military–lives depend on it.

  2. Thank you, Lt. Colonel O’Doherty. Well put!

  3. Congratulations John on launching your new site!

  4. Thanks Amy, and thanks for all your help. You are truly a wizard of blogging and interactive social technologies!

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