In the HBO Game of Thrones series a manipulative character named Petyr Baelish, better known as Littlefinger, said, “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder.” Our current world, nation, states, and communities have their share of uncertainty, some may call chaos. But how we approach and frame up this uncertainty can actually increase our reputation influence.
Now, Littlefinger looked at life and chaos through the lens of how can I climb this ladder for my benefit, even at the expense of others? For this he ultimately met his fate on his knees with a knife at his throat.
What can we learn from Littlefinger’s mindset and approach to uncertainty? It’s simple – in times of uncertainty take your focus off of you. There are ways for you to benefit from this that not only helps your reputation, but more importantly helps others.
That is the frame through which we should look –how can I help others during this time of uncertainty?
Below are three steps that you can personalize and strategically use to benefit your family, friends, business, community, team, colleagues, customers and, yes, your reputation. I want to stress – let’s learn from Littlefinger – this should not be done with a manipulative mindset. People will see through that and you will end up doing more harm than good to your reputation (as well as your business and those around you!).
Three Steps for building reputation influence during times of uncertainty:
Understand the Impact of the Situation -Uncertainty happens on Main Street as well as Wall Street, so your focus may not be on a national or global scale. Some of the most positive personal demonstrations of support and kindness have started at the grassroots level. Being in touch with local or regional issues and understanding the impact is the most critical step in this process. Start by answering some simple questions to gauge the scope, impact and your personal connection to the uncertainty.
- What could the impact of (insert uncertainty) be to my business industry? To my city? In my community? Within my neighborhood?
- Why does this matter to me? My customers? My community? My friends?
Become a Conduit of Information – The old adage that ‘knowledge is power’ is quite valid in times of uncertainty. This is the first step in providing value to those around you. Resources and conduits of information in times of uncertainty are highly regarded. This could be as simple as writing an email to a core group of people or posting hyperlinks with key and reputable sources on your social media channels where people can get informed. Yes, you will need to ensure these are credible sources. Simply put, you send out credible information, it increases your credibility. Conversely, if you send people resources that are sketchy – well, you get the point and how it reflects upon you! Do your homework!
Share Channels of Action – Now that you’ve identified the areas of potential impact and you found sourced information, can you provide avenues for people to engage and act? This could be as simple as coordinating a conference call to discuss an uncertainty with other leaders in your industry. Or, maybe others have identified the same concern and have already begun to act. What can you do to amplify those efforts? Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just find a way to turn up the volume!
There is significant value and reputation benefit when one person (or a group of people) is willing to point towards uncertainty, call it by name, educate and connect those around them, and then provide ways in which to direct energy and action.
Can you name two areas of uncertainty in your industry or community where you can put these three steps into motion today?