The lesson on the importance of reputation is a lesson that everyone learns over time. Those who can learn it at the expense of someone else tend to be the most successful people, regardless of their chosen career.
But few people actually learn it at the expense of someone else. They see the consequences of other people damaging their reputation but never consider the frailty of their own. So they learn at their own expense when they do something similar. It is then that they also discover that the cost is often huge.
Your reputation is the most valuable currency you have in business and in life. It can unlock doors not even seen by some people. It can also lock those doors tighter than Fort Knox.
We live in a time where everything is recorded and documented forever.
It’s a mistake to believe that because you didn’t post something to Social Media that no one else would either. It’s become nearly impossible to even walk to your car without being caught on a nearby camera. The words and images you post are forever. They might be hilarious after a half dozen beers but could turn deadly serious the next morning.
You must realize that the friendly Human Resource person you’re interviewing with tomorrow is very likely to be looking at your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages today. You would never tattoo your face with the words “I’m a drunk” on your forehead because that could be seen by everyone. But when you post the pictures of your latest drunk-fest online it’s not much different.
That kind of post might only offend one person but if it’s the wrong one then that’s a problem. I know it’s all in fun but if it comes at the expense of your reputation is it worth it? Keep the pictures on your phone and show them off privately. Remember, even texting them to friends means you no longer have full control of your reputation. Always be careful.
The fact that your reputation is priceless is best learned before you lose it. Despite what others may tell you I do believe that even a badly battered reputation can be restored. It’s just that the more damaged it is the longer it takes to repair it. A moment or two of carelessness could potentially take years to reverse.
A slip of the tongue or one ill conceived mouse click can have long lasting ramifications. Think BEFORE you say it, think twice BEFORE you hit post and never ever, not even for a moment, lose awareness of the value of an honorable reputation.
10 thoughts on “Your Reputation is Priceless”
Steve, my reminder to many in the past was “Be sure your mind is in gear before engaging your mouth” Same could be said before pushing send….
Thanks Gary, indeed it’s so easy to fire off an hostile message with little thought to how long the person receiving our message will feel the hostility….and who else they will tell about it. I recommend never sending an email about something that made you mad while you’re still mad about it. A single day of waiting can make all the difference in the world!
Very good article! completly agree with your ideas, most of us we think we are in a safe place – Only having real friends on social media- but despite the security filters we have have, it only takes one person that do not have this sacurity filter to make it visible for other people.
Very true, our “friends” may not mean to damage our reputation but to expect other people to protect it to the same extent that we would is too high of an expectation, even for a very good friend.
Reblogged this on Gr8fullsoul.
Thanks so much Steve for this post. All our young children should be aware of these wise instructions you give here, and, with your permission I will use it for a session of Holliday classes I’m giving to my nieces and nephews.
Thanks once more
Danielle Alice Desanges Aucéane
THIAM MÉKÀ de GOGUENHEIM
Thank you, you absolutely have permission to use my post. I’m honored you think it’s worth sharing.
Probably have shared this with you before – one of my favorite notions / quotes: “Humans are the only specie on earth that can pause between the stimulus and the response.” I had been attributing this to Stephen Covey, only to discover recently it should be attributed to Victor Frankl (who used the word ‘space’ rather than ‘pause’) – though Covey championed it frequently, certainly enriched it. Consistent with this blog post, we must all get into the habit of pausing to Consider carefully what our response should be to the stimuli we get.
Indeed, that “space” is a gift but only if we choose to use it.