As a leader-in-development, you are probably aware that how others perceive you can have a direct impact on your success or failure. This perception is often tied to your general reputation as a business or sales professional, which can be subject to individual opinion. How well you create a reputation for yourself can be the difference between being a highly-admired leader or someone whom others fear.
So, why exactly does your reputation matter? In the grand scheme of things, you are just one of many pros who choose to become a leader in your industry. Instead of settling for being just another cog in the wheel of the system, you have decided to rise above and stand out among your peers. Without a solid reputation, you will lack a foundation on which to build your career, however. It’s like the parable of the man who builds his house on the sand vs. the man who builds on solid rock. Your reputation is like this – and it can be strong or crumble under pressure.
Building a reputation is not something that happens overnight. It takes time and concentrated effort to grow. Your reputation is an aspect of your life that starts when you are younger, in the decisions that you have made, the people you network with, and the actions you take. No two reputations are the same, because they are about you as an individual. They are your values, behaviors and beliefs. They make up the parts of you that the outside world sees.
Creating a positive reputation is something that all leaders should be mindful of in all aspects of professional and personal life. We live in a more intrusive world, with social media and mobile tracking becoming an everyday normal aspect of our lifestyles. To maintain a good reputation takes as much effort as building one. This means you must be diligently monitoring the way in which you and others portray you in all mediums.
Leaders can use their good reputations to encourage and inspire others to achieve more. This can also help you as you deal with clients, so they develop a positive image of you. This can encourage new people to give you a chance to prove your abilities. Subordinates will also benefit by your good reputation because you will be setting an example to others.
Once you begin to rise in influence as a leader, you’ll want to continue to keep your reputation as squeaky clean as possible. Eliminate traces of your past that do not shed positive light on your achievements. Improve all online sources to you, and gather a network of other esteemed professionals around you. As a leader, people will expect you to provide them with the image they want to aspire for. It’s up to you to make your reputation something to be proud of.