The Public Has an Opinion about Directors

As directors read the landmark survey of Main Street and C-Suite undertaken by Directorship magazine and Deloitte in conjunction with Korn Ferry International, they will see that the public’s opinion of them and their performance is not high.

Directors need to know what people are thinking and saying and why.  The results from the first survey create a baseline drawn from “Main Street” — journalists, policymakers, analysts, members of the C-Suite including CEOs and directors and more importantly teachers, laborers, policymakers, doctors, students and community leaders.

Let’s begin with the credibility of board directors and CEOs.  While less than half, 43 percent, said board and CEO credibility was poor, 39 percent said it was only adequate and only 17 percent said it was good with only 1 percent said credibility of boards is outstanding today.

To the question of how boards performed their role of oversight during the economic crisis, a whopping 57 percent said poor with another 29 percent calling their performance adequate. A mere 1 percent gave boards an outstanding rating and 13 percent said good. 

What can directors do about these low ratings?  The Directorship article suggests that directors communicate.  Directors should be willing to engage in a role that helps shape public opinion says Korn Ferry’s Steve Mader.