Reputations can be made and lost, but either way they're certainly more important today than in years past. More than half of all Americans surveyed by Wirthlin Worldwide say a company's reputation is more important today than it was five years ago. Fifty-one percent of all consumers (and 59 percent of all business executives) place a greater emphasis on corporate reputation today. A company's focus on its customers and the quality of its products are the top two indicators of positive perception. Corporate reputation is also strongly linked to the boss. In fact, 45 percent of a company's reputation is directly attributable to the chief executive. What makes a good CEO? For consumers, the ability to motivate employees tops the list. For business executives, the ability to communicate a clear vision is most important.