to think that reputation is always going to be the result of doing something larger than yourself. In other words, reputation is a result, for the most part, of pursuing a selfless cause. Selflessness is not necessarily steeped in doing what will benefit others. Let me explain
The other side of selflessness
I have a reason to believe that if you are deploying your fullest potential, excavating to the dregs of details the possibilities that God put in your life, you are being selfless. Selfishness is all about comfort and self-centeredness. So when you find someone paying the price of discomfort in order to explore and refine a gift and a talent, I believe that person is being selfless.
Why? Because for the most part, a gift or a talent in its full maturity is never primarily for the benefit of the gifted. Of course the gifted will savor its fruits but not before he has been a blessing to the masses or even to just one person with his gift. That is where the reputation comes from.
Caring For Your Reputation
I believe that you and I need to be absolutely careful about our reputation, especially after you have started having one. We said in the previous post that Reputation is what sneaks up on you while you are busy doing something greater than yourself. In other words, you did not go out and out to get a reputation. All you did was to pursue what mattered to you. Reputation became the side effect!
7 Reasons To Care For Your Reputation
A big mistake that we make is not to care about our reputation once it has been created by our pursuit of purpose. We think that it will take care of itself. Well, it just might, but we ought to be deliberate about it, especially in this day and age.
The following, I believe, are the 7 reasons why you and I should be particularly interested in taking care of our reputations.
Perhaps the greatest undoing in any connection in the world is mistrust. Once it has crept into any relationship, if great care is not taken, that relationship is going down. Trust is an essential element in our lives. People entrust only those they trust.
Reputation and Trust Go hand in hand
Do you trust your house help? Oh uh! Do you trust your children’s teachers? If you do, chances are that it is because of the reputation that you perceive of them. Trust and relationships are inseparable. It makes no difference what kind of relationship it is. It might be a business relationship, marital, family, friendship, association or whatever.
The currency that makes these connections transact is trust, even at a basic level. Without it, there is no transaction. Without transactions, there is no life.
That is why you and I have to go to great lengths to ensure that we can still be entrusted. If there is a hint anywhere that people are losing trust in us, it is time to do something deliberately about it and repair that relationship.
People are so concerned about their names, brands and reputations that they will not endorse anyone that will spoil their names. And there is no way that someone will endorse or even go further and recommend you if your reputation is not good.
The other day actor Jussie Smollet stage managed a racial and homophobic attack on his life. The raw incident captured the attention of greats like TD Jakes and Steve Harvey who tweeted and also did Instagram posts in support of Jussie.
To recommend is to risk reputation
They had staked their reputations and clout in supporting that young man. When the truth came out later, it must have been a shaming thing for these two great men. One thing is for sure: These two men are not just about to recommend anything that is remotely connected to Jussie.
Only when you are "clean"
Still, about recommendations, there is no way you are appearing on Oprah or any other major media outlet to talk about your passion if your reputation is soiled. Nobody wants to be associated with your baggage unless of course you have come out to acknowledge it and show cause that you are working to mend it.
Just one tweet from a “sneezer” like Oprah will be read hundreds of thousands of times in an instant. They will not do that sneezing if your reputation will remotely dent theirs.
The Bible says that two cannot walk together unless they agree. It simply means that you cannot do life either through relationships, work or projects if one person has a reputation that you do not agree with. On the other hand though, if you have an impeccable reputation that you have built through good works, good character and consistency, people want to be associated with you.
We need each other
We now that in this world, we go further if we work together. That is why we need to mind sincerely about our reputations. So much can be gained through locking arms with other like-minded people. However, for that collaboration to be easily effected, there needs to be no question about your reputation.
Tiger Woods and Nike
We all saw the other day when Tiger Woods’ reputation went south. All the companies that he was associated with dumped him like a hot potato overnight. Only one company, or so I hear, stuck with Tiger. Nike. Nike collaborated with this great man because of his reputation.
When he mounted a comeback to with the Masters in 2019, Nike savoured the moment with him while the others who cancelled their collaboration with him licked their wounds. What a story Nike will be telling for generations through collaboration with this man because of his prior reputation. Now that his reputation has been restored, it is possible that many other entities will be queueing to “work together” with him because of the comeback reputation that he has built.
We shall finish off these thoughts in the next article. Stay tuned.