CEO Confidence Spikes but Their Silence is Deafening

Chief Executive Magazine polls its subscriber CEOs on economic issues each month and their recently released January Index shows their CEO Confidence Index rose to 5.78 out of 10 – the highest the index has been in more than 7 months.

Not surprisingly, CEOs voiced strong sentiments that there needs to be a change in Washington. Interestingly, several CEOs believe the media is driving the pessimistic outlook of the general public in the way media report on the world economy. The  focus, these CEOs feel, is on the negative aspects without providing the same amount of ink or airtime to upswings in the economy.

We wonder how many of these CEOs are taking an active role in shaping the conversation around their organizations and the larger economic issues that are emerging throughout the U.S. and abroad.  Our guess is the same executives who voice concerns about slant aren’t willing to take the steps necessary to provide the counter-point to a negative dialogue – until it involves them directly and they have no choice but to participate actively.

This approach has everything to do with what is perhaps an executive’s most valuable commodity – time.  There simply isn’t enough to go around. But, if an organization’s leader is serious about influencing the dialogue, it requires an investment of resources, active participation and close alignment with the communications function.

Imagine if one of the CEOs participating in this survey was willing to make a series of bold, bullish predictions on the near-term opportunities within their industry. The headlines are there to be grabbed, but the cost of entry is often more than these executives are willing to bear.

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