September 12, 2007

You Have a Reputation

Addendum 11-06-2008: I usually put these addendums at the end, but this one is perfect for what I'm saying. Rush Limbaugh gave away a car to a caller on his show. He did it on a whim. Now, get this. When the people showed up at the lot, they were allowed to have the car before Limbaugh's money had reached them! They knew his word and his reputation!

Buona Sera.
I'm fine, thanks. Hope you're well. This thing has been burning in me and I can't wait to get it written and posted.

What is a reputation? It's how people think of you, especially groups. Companies and things in general have a good reputation. Have you ever filled out a registration card for a product you purchased and seen a box under "what influenced your decision" that says, "Acme Corp. reputation"? The company is confident that the word on the street about them is good enough to make you buy something of theirs.

Reputations often come about because of personal experience. I can tell you some names... these people have to be verified before I'll believe a word they say. Also, I detest the Panasonic company. I've had too many bad products, and the company did not honor their contracts with me, so I've stopped buying their products no matter how nice they look.

It takes a long time to build a good reputation. Unfortunately, the world is so negatively-minded, that it doesn't take long to destroy one. People think of the Watergate scandal when you mention Richard Nixon, but forget the good things that he accomplished.

You have a reputation, you know. Hopefully, it's a good one. (Girls who have a bad one should call me.) But how did you get this reputation? Like I said (are you paying attention?), it comes from experience and observation. And then it gets told to other people. One of my favorite illustrations of this comes from the movie "Thunderball". James Bond, his boss and another man were having a conference. They look at a picture. Bond says, "I saw him the other day". The other guy says, "Impossible! He's dead!" The boss, M, says, "If 007 says he saw him, then he saw him." Bond had a reputation for doing his job well, and the boss knew he was reliable and thorough.

I had a reputation at one job that built up over the years. My attendance was excellent, and I was usually at least fifteen minutes early. If I was not early, I was "late" in my own time and co-workers began to wonder if something was wrong. Instead, they had to settle for me being actually on time instead of the personal time-table that I had established. Are you following this, or should I slow down?

How can you build up your own reputation?
  • Be consistent
  • Be reliable
  • Be honest
  • Be a man or woman of your word, above all else
  • Be aware of what's going on around you
Be consistent.Even in traffic, consistency is essential; crashes don't happen very often because someone knew it was going to happen, it was the unexpected, the inconsistent, that caused it. Save spontaneity for times that other people are not relying on you to get something accomplished, or to stay safe.
Be reliable. Show up to work on time every day. Call if you're going to be late or can't make it. But those had better be the exceptions: "Bob isn't coming in today. There must be something exceptional happening." Kids, do your homework, and do it well. Making a promise or commitment? Don't just say it to sound good, only say it if you can follow through. Are you forgetful? Write it down! Be someone that people can count on.
Be honest.What good is a liar? When you lie, not only are you taking away someone's ability to make a choice with the truth, you're insulting them. When you lie about who or what you are, you're also lying to yourself that you're not good enough, so you have to make yourself look better. And frankly, excuses are forms of lies. If you mess up, say so. If there's a good reason, say so. But if you're constantly making excuses for your foul-ups, who will believe you when you have a good reason for missing an appointment or paying back that money you owe me?

Be a man or woman of your word. It's a part of reliability and honesty. Your word is often all you have. Keep it shined up. Don't make a promise you can't or won't keep. "I'll try" should not be something you frequently say. Can you do it, or not? Then say so. Or, if you need time, say that as well. Keep your promises. I know people that make promises, and you're shaking in your boots because you know you're in deep excrement because they have reputations for keeping their promises. Or, "Roxie promised me..." That means it will happen. If not, there's an exceptional reason. Capice? You should read that again, I think it's very important. Guys, this is important. I can't tell you why it is, but I honestly feel that it is extremely important for us to keep our word. Oh, and never lie to a woman. You'll regret it.

Be aware of what's going on around you. That in itself is a good reputation to gain. If you're paying attention, you know what promises you can and cannot make, what choices to make, when to simply shut the hell up and listen.

Make yourself a good reputation, and keep it. Keep your word. A man that doesn't keep his word isn't much of a man. And a man needs his reputation if he wants to succeed and be respected.

Well, I feel better now. I hope someone gets something out of this. It's important, you know. Click here if you want to review the article on how to get organized; this will be an aid to keeping your word.


Anonymous said...

The mechanic that works on my car I got through word of mouth. He's done good by me and I'm helping build up his reputation even though he doesn't have his own shop, it's side work.

Subscribe in a reader