The rise and fall of reputation, and why it matters
By Mandy Flint and Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of The Team Formula.
Their latest book, multi-award-winning Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book atwww.leadingteamsbook.com
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only one bad one to lose it.”
The current turmoil surrounding the new US president and his team is worrying to watch. It’s worrying for a whole number of reasons.
A country, just like individuals, teams and organisations, has a reputation. And that reputation is created over time, through words, actions and behaviours. But it’s not set in stone – a reputation can quickly be tarnished and even ruined. A reputation should not be taken for granted. In fact, it should be taken very, very seriously. It takes us a long time; years, months, even decades to build one.
We can have a good, strong reputation and then after a few behaviours that make others feel uncomfortable, we can lose that reputation and trust. And it takes a long time to recover that trust. We all have our own reputation – in teams, individually or as an organisation. Whether we choose to work on it or not, we will have one. It’s therefore highly relevant to ask: What is our reputation? and What do we want it to be? or What does it need to be?
Every single one of us has a reputation, and it will sometimes travel ahead of us and it can either open doors or close doors.
It is all about those relationships that have built the brand and reputation. When you think cars and safety, you may think of Volvo. When you think Innovative design, you may think of Apple. When you think of a fun and creative place to work, you may think of Virgin.
If we ask you to think of a company right now, that you are familiar with, you would have a view of them, right? You would have a view of their brand, their way of working, even the culture they create; what it’s like to work there or what it’s like to work with them. It is all about those relationships that have built the brand and reputation. When you think cars and safety, you may think of Volvo. When you think Innovative design, you may think of Apple. When you think of a fun and creative place to work, you may think of Virgin.
President Trump’s infamous tweeting is an example of this. Things said in the heat of the moment are creating ripples that are hard to assess the complete impact of over time, it affects and creates a reputation, good or bad.
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with clients, business partners and other stakeholders, but needs to be very carefully navigated. A comment, an imprint lasts forever. In that way social media is very honest – we can’t erase our tracks. On the other hand, if we are thoughtful and respectful about it, we shouldn’t have to. President Trump’s infamous tweeting is an example of this. Things said in the heat of the moment are creating ripples that are hard to assess the complete impact of over time, it affects and creates a reputation, good or bad.
Reputation matters and should be taken seriously.
Do you know what your reputation says about you, your team and your organsiation? If you don’t, find out; ask for feedback. And accept it for what it is, even if it’s not the answer you wanted. Once you know what your reputation is, you can reinforce it, build it or change it. It’s not set in stone, but it can take time and effort to change. It’s worth it though – without a great reputation, we will never be able to live up to our full potential.
What reputation are you creating right now? Take control of it.
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