The Most Important Brand Name In The World? Yours!
Reputation. It's what people think of when they hear your name.
In a world that that is obsessed with brands, from Apple, Google, Starbucks....there is one brand that stands above all others: Your Own. First name + last name. The value of a name is hard to calculate, but it means everything.
High school often has the presence of "cliques." Way back in the '90's there were the jocks, the burnouts, nerds, cool kids, etc. Cliques by definition are pretty divisive. I imagine this continues generation after generation.
Your group however does not define YOU and your reputation, particularly once you enter the workforce.
Too many young adults don't recognize how powerful a strong reputation is, and in many was it's not that difficult to build a great one.
Here are the basics for building a solid brand YOU:
Are you dependable?
90% of life is showing up - Woody Allen
In other words, in 30 days of work, how many times out of 30 did you show up? 30? Or 24? This is base level one, if you have a hard time showing up, hard to build a solid rep.
And for those times you showed up, did you show up on time or before, or were you consistently late with multiple excuses? It's a fact: People that struggle to show up on time send subtle messages about their ability to answer the bell, respect OTHER people's time, etc.
Do you consistently have a case of "the Mondays?" Monday is often the most challenging day of the week, especially for people with vigorous social lives and exhibit that on the weekend. More absenteeism occurs on Monday vs any other day of the week. That's why I refer to it as "The Mondays." Want to get noticed in a bad way? Give yourself a dose of the Mondays.
Are you teachable?
Can you take direction and actually do it? Or do you do things your own way and struggle to get it done, on time and with zero mistakes? There's nothing wrong with stepping out and doing things your own way, but be aware that it needs to be done right and on time, and missing it WHILE doing it YOUR way is risky.
Do you ask questions vs struggling and staying stuck?
Are you a "breath of fresh air" with a positive attitude?
You would be shocked at how FEW people step up and do the least desirable or most challenging job? Want to build your reputation? Volunteer for that.
Ask your supervisor: "How can I help?" "How can I improve?" "Is there something your struggling with I can give you a hand with?"
Are you "Growth Challenged?"
People should get better over time, IF they work at getting better. When muscles are worked out, the muscle tissue gets torn, then sore, and starts repairing itself. And guess what happens? The muscle gets stronger.
People at work are no different. It is easy to spot the people that push themselves and get stronger and better vs those that roll through the motions. Both types of people stand out like sore thumbs and reputations follow accordingly.
Protecting Your Reputation
The Integrity Test
Integrity is simple:
Do what you say you will do. Repeat.
When I think of reputation and integrity, one legend comes to mind. Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the world's wealthiest people. Great speech below and worth a listen.
Mr. Buffett has a great test for PROTECTING one's reputation, he calls "the NY Times Test." If you were being followed by an intelligent reporter NOT inclined to say nice things about you and put your days actions on the front page, how would you feel?
So there's BUILDING your reputation, and like most things, it happens Brick by Brick, and starts with the fundamentals outlined above. It happens over time, and like wealth, it builds slowly but over time will compound.
And then there's PROTECTING your reputation. Don't forget the NY Times Test. It can take decades to build a rock solid reputation. BUT YOU CAN DESTROY YOUR REPUTATION IN MINUTES WITH SIMPLE LAPSES OF JUDGEMENT.
Do Both. Build and Protect your reputation. Over time, when people say your name, there will be an image in people's mind. You control what that image looks like. But like most things, it requires work, intentional action and consistent effort.