Monday October 29, 2012
By Tom Goldfarb - Client Support, talent toolbox
US Founding Father and all round man of action, the multi-talented Benjamin Franklin once said 'It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it'. Never a truer phrase said. This doesn't just mean individuals though; this statement can also be applied to teams, areas, regions companies and even whole industries.
Building a good reputation is extremely important whether it be amongst friends, at work or in everyday life. If you portray yourself as a reputable person you will find that a lot of other things will fall into place and that people will be a lot more willing to help you out and achieve your goals.
Reputation can be built in many ways and through many aspects of life. Unfortunately though the opportunity to build a reputation from scratch isn't always available to us; therefore we need to take a variety of approaches to enhance current reputation and ensure that remains intact.
Within the workplace, an important part of this is taking charge of projects, offering solutions to challenges and being intuitive; however doing all this without undermining anybody. Another critical factor is what we at leanpurple call 'a constant state of excellence'. That is taking a consistent approach to decision making, maintaining your image each and every day and not allowing emotions take over in difficult situations. Being constantly excellent demonstrates professionalism and passion - both of which positively enhance reputation.
And with the invasion of social networking sites, allowing individuals to self-publicise, managing your reputation online is also imperative. Have you Google imaged yourself? Increasingly, potential employers and clients Google contacts to check their online reputation before they even meet them. If a picture of you, half naked and downing a line of Jagerbombs appears; what sort of image are you portraying and what impact does this have on your reputation? This is why security settings are also of paramount importance when it comes to social networking; only allowing what you want to be shown - thus protecting your reputation...Before that though is considering what you put onto these sites. Not too long ago I heard, 'If you wouldn't put it on the front of a newspaper then don't put it on your social network page' - a great piece of advice and something which shouldn't be taken lightly.
So I've started to build my reputation, how do I ensure I maintain it? The main thing is to keep being honest to yourself and to focus on that 'constant state of excellence' both on and offline. You also need to be honest with others - if you're not it's very easy to get caught out. Maintaining your core values is crucial when establishing and enhancing a great reputation. The same can be said for business reputation; making sure you have clearly defined company values and mission and these are lived and breathed by all throughout the organisation. When a company has clearly defined values it ensures all employees sing from the same hymn sheet; ultimately driving you to achieve the corporate goals and protect your reputation as a business.
And then we come to making sure we don't lose it through 'one bad deed'. A recent and extreme example of somebody who lived their life as a saint, establishing and maintaining a fantastic reputation as a sportsman and a kind, generous individual, only to be found out as a liar and a cheat is Lance Armstrong. Overcoming testicular cancer to maintain his status as the greatest cyclist in the world was truly amazing. He was a flag bearer for the Livestrong charity and all around good guy. Then he was exposed as a drug cheat. Sponsors have abandoned him, and he's been stripped of his medals and honors, his reputation is in tatters. Because of this all of the good he has done in his lifetime will now be greatly overshadowed. The only way to ensure this doesn't happen to you or your company is to stay true to what you believe in, your morals, and not participate in anything that could cause more damage than good.
So do you feel like you portray yourself in the way that people respect you?
Is there anything you can change to make yourself a better person?