What would you say if a CEO asked you that question?
If your first thought was Nope! you certainly wouldn't be alone.
In a recent poll, participants were asked to rate the reputation of CEOs and 53% said "bad." It's particularly telling when you note that Americans say the most important traits for CEOs are: trusted, ethical, accountable, competent and respectable.
Seems like corporations have a lot of work to do.
I've been thinking about this trust factor as Exxon, like other oil and gas companies lately, prepares to face-off with its shareholders on the issue of climate change today, May 31st.
It certainly won't be the first time the company has faced pressure to address climate change. However with significant support for the proposal already in place, this year's shareholder meeting is expected to be more heated than ever.
The proposal put forth would require the company to transparently assess and implement measures that address risk from climate change. Shockingly, the company is urging investors to vote against the proposal, stating that they have already accounted for the impact and are committed to low-carbon resources.
In other words, "Trust me."
And Oil and Gas isn't the only industry affected by trust. There are ample examples, even in the headlines below—from Google's gender discrimination lawsuit to activists demanding that tampon companies be more transparent about ingredients.
It's simply not enough for companies and CEOs to say, "Trust us." We must hold them accountable.
As always, I'm curious to know your thoughts!
Nikita T. Mitchell
P.S. ABL is hitting your inbox this morning instead of Tuesday due to Monday's holiday in the US. Hope you didn't miss me too much!