The Question I Keep Struggling With.
There is one question that I keep struggling with. Why don’t we pay more attention to the one thing that has the potential of changing our professional lives? World leaders like Richard Branson and Warren Buffett acknowledge their reputation as their greatest asset. Self-awareness is the number one leadership tool. As consultants or entrepreneurs, we are our reputation. Most people that I talk to, whatever position, agree that it’s crucial to their success. And yet …
I frequently look at research to validate what I’m talking about. Research from Stanford University and Harvard Business School has looked into that question what makes us hire a certain person for a project or a job. It shows that it’s not Experience at the top of the list but instead potential for the future. Expectations and reputation rule. Everyone can tell about the great things they've done in the past, but when asked what to expect there is often an unmistakable hesitation.
Build Reputation Instead Of A Resumé.
Ten years ago I started a discussion in my first book about the recruitment process, and many of my ideas seem still to be valid. But, today work-life will no longer be only about building a resumé but building your reputation. Exciting companies will not be filled with people sending in their traditional resumés; they will be occupied by individuals with an excellent reputation built on how they do things. Or as Apple puts it: “You’re amazing - we should talk."
I try not to quote others as much nowadays, instead, trying to shape my own thoughts and ideas. But I can’t help but quoting Seth Godin’s thought-provoking sentence that is so worth to reflect upon: “Your reputation has as much impact on your life as what you do.” We are entering the new reputation economy and what we see is merely the beginning. Reputation and trust will be the cornerstones in our new way of working and the recruitment industry will have a huge challenge.
Reputation Management Starts Offline.
In the digital age when we are so widely connected our reputation is far more valuable than ever. Many see reputation primarily as an online strategy, building your brand. But, in every crucial part, you should know and expand your reputation offline and then develop an effective strategy to put it online. It doesn’t matter how you position yourself online if you don’t live up to your reputation in every moment of your daily business dealings.
There is one thing that has fascinated me throughout the last years of my work with reputation. Everyone that I talk to agree how crucial it is to their success, yet very few know what their reputation looks like or the opportunities that it opens up. What’s holding us back? Traditional ways of thinking? Are we scared of finding out? That’s one question that I haven’t quite figured out yet.
On the flight to Stockholm, I picked up the SAS Magazine and read this interesting article about the Swedish word ”lagom.” It has become famous, meaning not too little and not too much. Instead, they suggested ”Just Right” which is perfect.
Now we don’t have to discuss if the work was done excellent or good enough which is only confusing. When you are feeling proud of what you have accomplished it’s ”Just Right.” It builds your reputation with the elegance of simplicity.
Myths About Quitting.
I see many myths about quitting like winners never quit and quitters never win. To quit the right thing at the right time is the main key to top performance and the basis of your stop-doing-list. So you should never see quitting as a failure; instead, it pushes you into an area where you combine your commitment, your unique qualities with your passion for doing great things for your clients. It's a brilliant way of building an attractive reputation, and it also means a quality of life.
You could have bright business ideas or brilliant strategies but everything lands in how you are perceived - your reputation. It's something to consider when approaching potential clients, business partners or investors since it sets the stage for interaction. Knowing and nurturing your reputation is probably the best investment you'll ever make and often something that is sadly missed.