• March 14, 2020

    20 Ways to Build & Protect Reputation during COVID-19

    20 Ways to Build & Protect Reputation during COVID-19 As we face the localized impact of COVID-19’s global public health crisis, it is vital that leaders recognize that these are times that can either build up or tear down your and your brand’s reputation. It’s your choice and will be dictated by whether a proactive or reactive strategy is implemented. For some leaders, this may be the first major crisis you have faced in your executive post.  For others, this may be another notch on your crisis management belt.  Regardless of what camp you are in, I can assure you from my more than two decades of crisis management work, that every crisis is its own beast – and must be planned for and addressed in that manner. I have helped many organizations and leaders find reputational opportunity in the face of adversity – and to be clear, that does not mean being opportunistic and taking advantage of people! What I mean is that these are times when leaders have the opportunity to draw closer to their customers and employees.  There are opportunities to become more than a service provider, an association organization, or an entertainment destination.  These are times when you can become more than the product or service you deliver or provide.  You can become a resource of comfort, understanding, healing, inspiration, and solutions, that will deliver huge reputational dividends both during and after a crisis. Many of you have already begun to implement customer and employee Social Distancing protocols.  For those that do not have internal systems in place, it’s easy for this to become a follow-the-leader scenario. But remember, your organization is not a follow-the-leader brand, is it?  Of course not. Below is a 20-point crisis resource for you and your team to review and use.  I’d urge you to consider how you can implement this in your own way to build, protect, and strengthen your reputation and, ultimately, your business. I broke this resource into two key buckets as the majority of crisis work falls within these two areas of work – communication and customer service – and encompass a large percentage of key audiences to address. Communication Never speculate during a crisis situation to your employees or customers; it is acceptable, when questioned, to say that you/your team are gathering information to ensure it is accurate. Then, you must deliver on this as soon as you can. Media training for one, designated representative must be done to ensure that key messages are effectively delivered and best represent the brand and its values. Those messages could include your company’s safety protocols, customer service channels, working with local health authorities, etc. Regular internal employee communication is absolutely critical to snuff out rumors. Remember that speculation breeds in the absence of information.  Senior leadership should set up and use internal communications channels and alert your employees that leadership will be providing updates, perhaps daily or weekly. Social Media is a vital channel for communication and should be used to deliver updates for customers or other key stakeholders. Ensure that you have a senior executive reviewing all corporate […]

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  • January 13, 2020

    How To Drive More Opportunities in 2020

    How To Drive More Opportunities in 2020 Looking for a way to create more opportunities in your life in 2020? Building and strengthening your reputation is a simple secret to doing that! If you aren’t, you are missing out on one of THE best opportunity drivers in your life! Relationships are a foundational piece of building your reputation (and opportunities)!  But are we being intentional with how we are authentically building and nurturing those relationships? Or, do we tell ourselves that we, or they, are busy and we’ll get to it soon? Here’s my challenge to you for 2020 – I challenge you to make 156 reconnects in your network this year! Sound impossible? It’s not.  I promise! Here are the simple steps: 1. Carve out 90 minutes a week – whether that’s 90 minutes in one day or 30 minutes three times a week. 2. Make a list of the people in your network that you haven’t connected with in a while. 3. Make the calls!! Make three phone calls to people in your network each week and you will have made 156 reconnects over a 52-week period. This is your chance to ‘check-in’ and ‘catch up’ with those people in your life to see how they are doing? What are they up to? How is work?  Maybe you even offer help or encouragement. Don’t think that will drive opportunities? Don’t think that will strengthen your reputation? If you own a business, this is also an opportunity for you.  I have a very dear friend who shuts down his office at Noon every Friday. Now, his team doesn’t leave.  They actually spend the balance of the day making calls to people in their network – old colleagues, old clients, old friends. Over time, he started tracking when he was generating the most new business for his agency.  When do you think that was? You guessed it – on Fridays between 12-5! So give it a try and see how this enriches your life and blows open the doors of opportunity! Want to watch this message? Click here to watch a short video on my YouTube channel. Be intentional … be deliberate … drive your reputation forward this year to experience opportunities you never knew existed! Cheers to 2020 and your success! Keep digging!

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  • December 2, 2019

    How to Follow Your Passion

    How to Follow Your Passion “Go follow your passion!” Such a great phrase, but how do you know to do that? Passion is a powerful word! It’s inspiring. It’s unique to you. It’s fuel to keep us moving forward. It can also be dangerous if not thought through. We often hear “follow your passion” when someone is trying to inspire young people to live a life that is truly theirs. Other times we hear “follow your passion” when someone is at a crossroads in their life and are trying to figure out what to do. But do we know how to follow our passion? You see, “follow your passion” is not a one-size-fits-all opportunity for life. The reality is that if you don’t know how to follow your passion, it could do you more harm than good! Our passion can serve multiple purposes when identified and harnessed properly! Below are two of the most common … 1 :: Passion As A Revenue Generator Your passion could become a source of income. We see this happen to those who have developed a service or product that, through significant and daily effort, becomes a thriving business. My personal story led me to this place where my passion for driving people forward through reputation management, coaching, and consulting efforts – and a $hit-ton of hard work and perseverance! 😉 – has allowed me to replace my ‘corporate gig’ salary and “follow my passion.” This was not easy. This was not a, “I woke up one day and decided to follow my passion” type of experience. This took years of preparation. This took hours of work. This took significant commitment and a level of self belief in the value I could offer this world during my brief stay. So, how did I know to follow my passion as a revenue generator? Read what the three key elements are below … On the other side, your passion can deliver supplemental income – your side hustle. You don’t have to quite your 9-5 (or, maybe it’s more like 7A-10P for you?!) in order to bring your passion to life. Following your passion does not have to be an either, or decision. It can be and … read here for more insight on how to make these types of decisions. 2 :: Passion As An Impact Generator Other times, people find that their passions are about making an impact, not necessarily making money. They know or come to realize that their passion isn’t all about making money. Your passion could be about supporting an effort or movement in which you believe. I have a friend who builds orphanages in underdeveloped countries – his passion is helping these young people have a chance at life that was not available before. However, he realized that it was his high-paying corporate job that had allowed him to generate donations and access resources to help bring his passion to life. You see, he didn’t just quit his job to follow his passion and put himself and his family at risk. Many years ago, I came across this three-prong approach to discerning […]

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  • October 12, 2019

    Do People Know Your Intention?

    Do people know your intention? I read once that trust is comprised of two elements – character and competence.  Knowing the character of an individual will certainly determine if they are trustworthy.  Do they act with integrity or kindness? Just as well, it’s imperative to know that the person has the competence, the ability, to get the job done. That got me thinking about a third element that I don’t hear much about in leadership conversations.  How often do we focus on intention? I really believe this is one of the most fundamental elements of leadership and a building block for trust and reputation and yet, how often do we intentionally focus on intention (see what I did there?)? To be clear, I’m not speaking of being intentional in behavior or starting your day by setting your intentions – which are very important, by the way – rather, I’m speaking about your team, customers, or stakeholders knowing the true intention behind your actions. Are your intentions externally focused on your team’s mission, goals, values, and growth opportunities? Or, are they internally driven for your gain? If people don’t know your intention, it leaves them to wonder and in those spaces of speculation, trust, reputation, and results can diminish because rarely are people thinking of positive intentions.  Oh, you say that sounds so negative, Mike! According to a Harvard Business Review study, 58% of employees would trust a stranger over their boss! Think that’s a problem with intention? Jim Meehan, a British psychologist, once wrote that to gain trust with people you need to let them know two things: I mean you no harm I seek your greatest good As leaders, isn’t that our true goal with building trust, which then will lead to results? Stop leaving your intention to question! It’s a waste of everyone’s time and energy – two resources we never have enough of! So, how do you let people know your intention? It starts with how you show up and engage based upon your values.  Are you values grounded in your personal belief? The team’s mission? The company’s vision? If you are living into these values on a consistent basis, then people will know your intention by what they see.  Complement your actions by also verbally telling your team your intentions – for them, for the project, for the client. Transparency is a vital piece of trust and leadership.  If you are walking the walk, then being transparent won’t be an issue! Give it some thought.  How do you ensure people know your intention? To watch a video on this message, please visit my YouTube page here!

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