Make Your Reputation Your Best Asset!
When we were growing up, my mom always reminded my sister and I to take care of our reputation.
She would often recite the famous words of Benjamin Franklin, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Of all the lessons my mom taught me, this emphasis on reputation was one that has stayed ingrained in my mind and the one I most frequently try to instill in my students. Ironically, this lesson is very much in line with our own St. Francis DeSales and his “Be Who You Are and Be That Well” quote.
Recently, I was inspired to look at my own reputation through a new lens. A colleague of mine, Philip Wilkerson III (Industry Advisor at George Mason University), recorded a LinkedIn post where he raised the question, “How is your name being spoken in rooms you are not in?”. It got me thinking about how much our reputation precedes us. Often, people have heard things about you before they actually even meet you. I have had moments where someone has said to me, “I was just in a meeting where people were talking about you.” My gut reaction tends to be, “Gosh, I hope it was good.” I am confident with my reputation and the person I have become, but I also know I’m not perfect and continue to work toward making my reputation my best asset.
So why do I share this? Because I want YOU to build and preserve your reputation. Good reputations set an example and inspire others. People will want to be around you, glean wisdom from you, and take your advice. Furthermore, good reputations help you market yourself. When looking for a new job or to advance in your career, your reputation will precede you and give you an advantage on the competition. Just think of the incredible network you can grow by having a strong reputation. People will want to help you and will continue to help you.
Your words and actions are powerful, so please think twice before you make decisions, share a post, like a comment, or send an email. George Russell, the Chairman Emeritus of Russell Investments, always took pride in saying, “Our company operates with non-negotiable integrity.” He said, “If you’re wondering whether or not to do something, ask how you would feel if it became tomorrow’s headline in the New York Times.”
I leave you with this “motherly” advice to protect your reputation, so that when your name is mentioned in a room when you are not there, it is always “all good things.”