Answer the following riddle: You can see it but you can’t touch it. Everybody has one. It leaves a path where you have been, is a driving force where you are going and more times than not is already there waiting for you when you arrive. Answer?
Your reputation is a powerful promoter and ally in your life. The definition of reputation is: A widespread belief that someone or something has a particular habit or characteristic; the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.
What is the first thing that comes to a person’s mind when they hear your name or the organization you work for or perhaps own? Integrity, honest, ambitious, caring? Or self-centered, demeaning, dishonest? So how does one attain a reputation? Is it a fair process? Does reputation really matter? Let’s take a closer look.
Consider the riddle above, you can see it but you can’t touch it. Your reputation is based on the actions you perform. How you treat people…all people, customers and co-workers alike. How you conduct business and how you behave outside of the workplace. These actions create the perception (intangible you can’t touch) that is generally held by others as the definition describes!
Everybody has one. Yes, all of us have a reputation. Unless we have lived under a rock and never engaged with other human beings, there is a generally held belief about the person we are. For example, years ago, I met an older gentleman who every time you would run into him was always positive and uplifting. He would always greet you with an enthusiastic hello. He just made you feel like you mattered. One day I met him in the airport as I was headed off to a huge business meeting to close a very large client. He asked what I was doing and I told him. Right there in the airport, he grabbed my hand and said a little prayer that I would have great success. He said he was in my corner and told me I could do anything I set my mind to do. This was huge for me at that time as I was a very young entrepreneur just getting my feet wet and more importantly going after my first BIG deal. Oh, by the way, I did get that client and I still have them today…twenty years later! Thank you Carrol Lockett!
My point is that from that time on, every time his name was mentioned, immediately I would say “that man is the most encouraging person I know!” Interestingly enough…everyone else said the same thing. What a powerful, powerful reputation!
It leaves a path where you have been, is the driving force where you are going and more times than not, is already waiting for you when you arrive. Wow that’s a lot. Your reputation is a serious thing!!! My dad was an electrical contractor for 52 years. He ran his own business for all but two years of his work life. Every project he did required specific standards to be approved. After each job, my dad would put his tag on his work for the inspectors to approve. His work always exceeded the standards. I asked him once why it was so important he went above and beyond the standard. He had a great answer. He said, “because my name is on it.” Many years later I was told of how inspectors would go look at a completed project of my dad’s work and at first glance would say “This is some of JR’s work!” His reputation left a path of extraordinary work!
Your reputation will be a driving force to where you go personally and in the workplace. A positive reputation will open door after door, create new opportunities just because people will believe you are the “go to” person. Think about the power a reputation has for a physician. One of my best lifelong friends is a doctor. He has thousands of patients because when you mention his name, people say he takes great care of them and he is one of the best at being able to quickly diagnosing what is wrong. When you hear that and you have a loved one who needs care and needs to get well quickly…well enough said. You will call Dr. Owens!
Finally, many times before you get an opportunity to perform what you are all about, people will already have an expectation of the outcome. I coached a youth football team for many years. We lost one game in six years (on a controversial play!). Really! There were many games we played over the years that we won the game before it even started. You could hear kids and parents alike say “We are playing the Raiders, they never lose…If we can just get through this game, then we can think about winning.” Why? It’s simple. We had a reputation of winning that went before us!
In conclusion, please DO NOT take your reputation for granted. In all my years of experience I have learned unconditionally that it is a most powerful ally. Always be perceived as a person of integrity. Someone who is always lifting people up, encouraging them to be all they can be. Why would anyone not want to be this type of person? Why would anyone enjoy belittling someone or walk around in a negative state of mind? Why would you sacrifice a lifetime of achievement and potential for one second of dishonest or deceptive gain? Why!!!
It is my hope that everyone who encounters me in business or just in person, feels a little bit better about themselves; has a re-focused view on being as productive as they can be simply because someone told them they can, then they pass that on to others.
That my friend is a reputation you cannot put a price tag on!