3 Unique Reputation Perspectives from Seth Godin

reputation

3 Unique Reputation Perspectives from Seth Godin :: 

If you haven’t heard of Seth Godin and you have even the slightest interest in leadership development, please do yourself a favor and go to his website and explore – you can thank me later. For those of you who absolutely are familiar with Seth and his work, then you know the value of his insights, messages and self-actualization themes. He is, without doubt, one of the greatest resources for leaders and entrepreneurs striving for success.

In a recent blog post titled ‘Three things to keep in mind about your reputation,’ he gives 3 unique reputation perspectives. Salient points that capture the power (and personal responsibility) of establishing and nurturing one of your greatest assets for success in both your career and life.

Below are his three points from the post, followed by my related thoughts.

3 unique reputation perspectives from Seth Godin:

1. Your reputation has as much impact on your life as what you actually do.
2. Early assumptions about you are sticky and are difficult to change.
3. The single best way to maintain your reputation is to do things you’re proud of. Gaming goes only so far.

What I love about Seth’s perspective is that it crisply captures 3 essential aspects of building and maintaining your personal reputation.

Let’s break it down:

1. Your reputation has as much impact on your life as what you actually do.

I read this as the ability your reputation has to impact your life beyond the work that you actually do or the things you create. Your reputation impacts the referrals that come your way (or pass you by), the people who seek you out (or seek someone else) or the doors of opportunity that open (or close).

3 Unique Reputation Perspectives from Seth GodinYes, it is important to keep doing good things, good works, good turns daily. Those actions, consistently over time, will continue to reinforce your reputation for what you do. Consider that 65% of new business comes from referrals – a key indicator of people seeking you out just as much for who you are, as for what you do. I don’t know of any entrepreneurs, business leaders or executives who don’t see referrals as a significant component of their sales matrix.

2. Early assumptions about you are sticky and are difficult to change.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”?  The first impression is a vital time stamp in reputation development. However, Seth uses a key word ‘assumptions’ that makes his thought different.  People may have preconceived biases or assumptions about you before you even say a word or shake a hand. This may have come from someone else’s comments about you, perhaps the company at which you work, the clothes you wear, the car you drive, maybe even the university you attended (or didn’t attend).

People rarely enter into a relationship without some initial bias or assumption. That’s ok. Resist the urge to try and prove people’s assumptions wrong. If that is your approach, then you might as well just spend your time playing the carnival game ‘whack-a-mole’. The game where you have a mallet and keep hitting the moles on the head – they just keep popping up here and there and it never stops! A better use of your energy would be to live the way you want people to see you.

The Greek philosopher Socrates once said,

The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”

 

3. The single best way to maintain your reputation is to do things you’re proud of. Gaming goes only so far.

I love this. How many people do you know who are trying to be someone they are not? Here’s the punchline – people will see you for who you are, over time.

3 Unique Reputation Perspectives from Seth GodinIt’s no different than playing poker. A critical strategy of the game is bluffing. If you ever play poker or have seen it on TV players put on a ‘poker face’ to try and bluff the other players into believing they have a strong hand. However, over the course of many hands, sharp and observant players will be able to pick up on ‘tells’ – the little signs and behaviors that a player does that shows if they are bluffing or truly have a strong hand.

Much like in our daily lives, we all have ‘tells’ that others will see. We can all put on a poker face, meet the world and play a game, however, over time people will be able to pick up on who we truly are.

The best way to not play games is to live into your values. What do you stand for? What do you believe in? Knowing and living your values, consistently over time, is the most assured and efficient way to build, manage and protect your reputation.  Thanks, Seth!

For more great insights, please check out Seth’s blog!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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