Your character and reputation is always on display through tweets, posts, pictures, media outlets and blogs, and one thing we sometimes fail to remember is that what is public is always public and cannot be erased. There is no backspace or white-out once the world sees it or hears it. Every time you speak or show yourself in public your building two things; your character and your reputation – for better or for worse.
Your reputation is who people think you are, which is built on what you say and what people say about you based on your actions and words. Your reputation can align with or contradict with who you really are and can have many faces based on the setting – your reputation with friends and family may differ from your reputation within the work environment.
Your character is who you really are which comes from deep within. It is the core values and morals that you live your life by and what helps shape the decisions you make. It is the foundation that you have built your life on and it is a reflection of your heart. It is what determines your actions and your words and more importantly how you treat other people.
If your character is not strong and built on a weak foundation your reputation can be falsified by your own words and actions. What takes years to build – a good reputation – can be destroyed instantly.
In today’s quick pace, team-oriented culture your reputation is very important to your success. Business’ are looking for employees who are “clubhouse” guys – employees who work well with and are liked and respected by their peers. This was my downfall and one of the biggest life lessons I had to learn the hard way. And a lesson that many others can learn from. Wanting success so bad I became selfish in my desires and focused on what I wanted to do and did not consider others in my actions and words.
In 2007 I was a perfect example of not having my reputation in line with my character and a time when my character was lacking. During the season I was very annoyed by many things especially feeling like I am not getting the opportunity I thought I deserved. My frustration built to a point where I let my words forever change my reputation – I yelled across the clubhouse to a certain individual “I am not here to make friends, I dont care if you don’t like me. I am here to play baseball. ” Little did I know I was really talking to the whole team. And worst of all I was blinded to my own character flaws and never considered how the rest of the team would take it nor did I consider or understand how it would be perceived.
Having strong moral principles that keep your character in check will always keep your reputation in line with who you really are. Building your character around integrity, love, and humility is a great start and one that all of us should strive for.
It’s vital to understand how important your reputation is especially in todays climate. One wrong picture on Facebook or one wrong tweet can get you fired, not hired, cause you to lose a scholarship and forever ruin future opportunities. Your reputation, the one that you build, will always precede you and it’s up to you whether or not that it is for the good.
My advice and challenge to you is, before you speak it, show it or take action make sure you consider how others will perceive it. Because perception, and your reputation, is a reality, and one that is controlled only by you. Maintaining a positive reputation takes honesty, fairness, courage and consistency in everything you do.
Copyright 2017 All rights reserved