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CEO Confidence Index August 2006

CEOs Offer Rare Glimpse into Their Personal Lives Advice to Next Generation of CEOs: “Listen” and “Be Ethical”

Invest Confidence IndexInvest Confidence IndexContinuing a fall for the third month straight, Chief Executive’s CEO Confidence Index dropped by 4.7 points to 157.9, according to 255 top executives surveyed this month. The drop, while not huge, continues a marked fall from May, when the leading economic indicator stood at 210.6. One CEO respondent, David Schmidt of Scan Health Plans noted, “[the] Economy seems to be in a holding pattern waiting for something to happen–either positively or negatively.”

Chief Executive Magazine also compiles sub-indexes by combining the six questions that make up the index in various ways. All of these component indexes fell except the Investment Confidence Index, which rose by 2.3 points to 134.1. Over 43% of respondents said they expected to increase capital spending at their company over the next quarter.

The Employment Confidence Index led the pack of losses this month, falling by 10.2 points. It currently rests at 171.3. Almost 10% (9.4%) of respondents said they would characterize current employment conditions as “Bad,” and 17.6% of respondents said they expect employment to decrease over the next quarter.

This month, Chief Executive also conducted additional polling to discover personal characteristics about the men and women who lead the economy. They were asked to list their favorite book, their favorite activity for relaxation, and their advice to the next generation of young entrepreneurs. For their favorite books, CEOs listed, in order, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, The Bible, “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand, “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman, and “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.

When listing their favorite activities, CEOs commonly listed, among other things, activities undertaken for personal benefits. They listed playing golf, reading, running, spending time with their families, and fishing as their top 5 favorite things to do. 

Finally, respondents were asked to give their best advice to the next generation of CEOs. Their responses varied from the personal to the practical, but several themes rang out in the comments of many CEOs. Certainly the most repeated advice was summed up thus: “Listen.” Other CEOs voiced agreement, urging to-be CEOs to hear the thoughts of everybody: their customers, their employees, their families, and almost anyone who would give an opinion. Other popular advice from CEOs was to “Have balance in your life. Integrate both your personal and professional life,” and “Obtain experience in as many different functional areas as you can.” Lastly, but not least voice was a call to strict ethical standards. One CEO, speaking for many, noted ” Demand 100% ethical behavior of yourself and others…99% doesn’t count.” Edward Kopko, CEO of Chief Executive Group said, “CEOs are keenly aware of their strengths as well as their shortcomings, and above all, they have the strongest dedication to ethical behavior.”

The CEO Confidence Index normally is released on the third Tuesday of each month.  For additional information regarding the confidence of public- and private-company CEOs, details about regional CEO attitudes on employment, investment and business conditions, as well as confidence differences between service and non-service industry CEOs.

Chief Executive is a controlled circulation magazine that has been published since 1977. It reaches 42,000 chief executive officers and their peers, reaches a total readership of 170,000.  Chief Executive Group facilitates “Chief Executive of the Year,” a prestigious honor bestowed upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of his or her peers.  George David, Fred Smith, Hank Greenberg, Bill Gates, John Chambers, Michael Dell and Sandy Weill are just some of the leaders who have been honored during the award’s 20-year history.  Chief Executive also organizes roundtable meetings and conferences to foster opportunities for top corporate officers to discuss key subjects and share their experiences within a community of peers.



 Change from Prev Month

 Ceo Index  157.9 -4.7
 Current Confidence Index 195.0 -6.3
 Future Confidence Index 132.8 -3.6
 Business Condition Index 173.4 -8.0
 Invest Confidence Index 134.1 2.3
 Employment Confidence Index 171.3 -10.2

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