Communicating Your Reputation


For good or bad, our behavior becomes our reputation. What we do communicates to others who we are. As much as the marketing world wants us to believe we can all spend enough money to define the reputation we want the world to see, it is not that simple.

BasketballIn high school, one long-ago Fall in Bear Creek, Alabama, a classmate kept telling our basketball coach about all the things he was going to do to prepare for the upcoming season.

Note, it was not what he had done yet (which he could have been doing all summer). Instead, he was essentially bragging about what he was going to do.

Coach Roberts listened calmly, then replied, “Don’t tell me, show me.” That was all he said. Then he turned and strolled away. Coach wanted to see that actions matched the promises. The words alone did not make the case or sell the idea. And too many promises of great effort go unmet.

Actions speak louder than words. Of course, you already know that. I’m guessing my classmate did too, but he still needed a reminder.

To expand that concept, I would like to submit that many actions speak much LOUDER than other actions. For instance, which are you known for?

  • Monitoring the project… or managing the project?
  • Doing whatever the client or colleague asks… or finding out what they really need?
  • Closing sales…  or helping clients find the right service or product?
  • Work that is “good enough”… or work that is really right?
  • Learning about the client’s needs and goals as you work on the project … or before you start the project?
  • Acting professional… or being professional?
  • Great talker… or great “doer?”
  • Nice person… or polite, effective professional?

These things are not that different, yet they are very different too. Which do you want to be known for? What do your actions communicate about you?

"My Reputation" on a business card

If your reputation is not what you desire, are you doing anything different to change or improve it? If not, why not?

Remarkable behavior, over time, builds a strong reputation. Once built, reputations can be difficult to change. That can be good or bad, but either way you are building that reputation every day. Even from inaction.

Be sure you behavior is positive, professional, and so client and company focused it leads people to literally remark to others about the great work and deeds you do. This will communicate your value more than any words!


About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.