The 11 Unwritten Laws of Reputation Management
Over at Forbes, I’ve been moonlighting as someone that writes well enough to, well, write for Forbes.
Here are the first three to whet your appetite…
Law #1 – Everyone has an online reputation
We all have an online reputation to maintain. Don’t believe me, go ahead and “Google Yourself”–I promise you won’t go blind! Even if you don’t find anything written about you, then that’s still your reputation–or lack thereof. In 2011, you should make sure that what’s found in Google, Facebook, Twitter et al is something you’d be equally comfortable showing your mom or your boss!
Law #2 – Your reputation is an extension of your character
It doesn’t matter how hard you work on managing your reputation, it will only ever be as solid as your actual character. Tiger Woods had a reputation of being the greatest golfer–and a family man. His character revealed otherwise. As Abraham Lincoln once said,
“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
Law #3 – Every reputation has an achilles heel
While Toyota may have spent years telling us that its cars are the most reliable in the world, sticking gas pedals told a different story. In fact, even though Toyota tried to deny the increasing incidents of sticking accelerators, its customers were the ones steering the car manufacturer’s reputation in another direction. Instead of denying the issue, Toyota should have been the first to recognize it! When you recognize and acknowledge your weaknesses, before your customers, you have the opportunity to craft a response before the public outcry. Do you know your reputation’s weakness?
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