Hey, business leaders and CEOs! Are you ready for a wake up call? A recent survey by Burson-Marsteller“Making it in America: The View from America,” says 61% of Americans don’t trust you. Hellloooo!? As innovators, we need to  explore the reason for this.

The American people want to trust business leaders, especially when it comes to big companies because, let’s face it, we need big companies in American. We need them to compete on a global stage. So everyone needs to start helping the leadership do the things we need them to do to be trusted.

6 Reasons Americans Distrust Business Leaders

  1. The average salary of the CEO in large companies is many times greater than the wage of the average worker.
  2. Leadership can appear to move jobs off-shore without regard to the local communities they impact.
  3. CEO’s are not accessible or visible to the average worker.
  4. The visionary leader that exudes hope for the future, in many cases, has been replaced by a numbers person looking to save 1/8th of a cent.
  5. Large companies were once a home for life to many workers, but today even retirement programs have been replaced by employee funded programs.
  6. Scandal taints many companies today; Even UBER had terrible leadership headlines recently with the CEO stepping down for harassment issues.


“Regardless of education level, 61% of all Americans have an unfavorable view of business leaders.

Americans trust companies but distrust business leaders.”

I am sure you could add many more items to this list, but in fairness, I always find a long list of positives that big companies just don’t publicize. I always ask myself why aren’t these companies telling people about the good they do? Most of the time, I get blank stares when I ask this, but for the most part I believe that the reason is that somewhere within the good there might be some stuff going on they don’t want to disclose. Well, that’s life, at least to me anyway. It happens to all of us.

My recommendation, though, to all the big company CEOs and business leaders is to start working on transparency and disclosure on the good as well as the bad.

Yep! Let it out because the only way you earn trust is through being transparent on all fronts. I know there is enough good to offset any of the other; and if you just say you are working on the other stuff, you are still on your way to trust and the American people will give you a break. Guaranteed.

Maybe you are not a business leader, owner or CEO of a big company, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an impact. If you work for a big company, send a note to the CEO that you want to help him or her on their trust level, and link to this press release. If you are a consumer advocate, email the company or call their 800 number and tell them you want to know more about the good stuff they are doing for the American people. Yep! Let’s jump on this in a good way and see what is different this time next year.

As I said in the Build Trust In Business blog a few days ago, we need trust––to be effective, efficient and competitive. We all want that. Americans must trust business leaders so that jobs are ensured, local communities are vibrant and our world standing is strong. Whooooaa! Not sure where all that came from, but let’s go with it! Tell Everything!

Hey Mr. CEO, trust me–