A reputation is the opinion, perception or belief that people have about an individual, an organization or a brand, based on past activities, behaviour and/or character. Like a flowing river, reputations engulf and permeate all throughout society affecting the lives of everyone seamlessly, and as such we are extremely curious to peak behind the curtain to see what makes a strong reputation.
A Powerful reputation:
1. Has a wide Reach
A strong and positive reputation has the ability to reach people from all walks of life. Before an individual ever opens their mouth to speak, their reputation has already preceded them. Thanks to the internet, many people have the opportunity to positively impact lives. Where you can’t physical go, your reputation will go for you.
2. Influences behaviour
As human beings, whether consciously or unconsciously, we adjust our behaviour according to the good or bad reputation an organization, individual, entity has built over time. A bad reputation aside, if we have built a good reputation over time, we gain respect from people because they perceive us as worthy and deserving of that respect. So I think it’s safe to assume that if Oprah Winfrey walks into your home or office building, she’s going to be received warmly with a cup of tea.
3. Has Longevity
Reputations take form over a period of time. The actions of certain organizations and individuals shape their reputations. There is no magic pill like solution to building a strong reputation, it is the result of consistent hard work and dedication. Many established reputations also had to overcome insurmountable obstacles over prolonged periods of time.
4. Communicates Values
It is well established that people will naturally gravitate towards groups and tribes with which they share the same values. Similarly, people and organizations will always seek out those reputations that are congruent with their own. For example, almost every organization has its values loudly presented and communicated through the ethos of the entire company for all to see, and this is by no means an accident.
5. Extinguishes fires
If we are being frank about reality, humans whether rich or poor have a natural propensity to get themselves into trouble, whether personally or in business. People take uncalculated risks, colour outside the margins or simply have self-sabotaging tendencies. As a consequence of their actions, they get into all sorts of unpleasant situations, and it never hurts to have that one friend, colleague or acquaintance with a good reputation, step in and help a loved one out of serious jam.
6. Sustains Relationships
Every powerful person, nation or organization functions like a well-oiled machine because they have alliances, agreements and partnerships that have been built on a credible and solid foundation. Powerful reputations ensure that all parties involved create and benefit from win-win scenarios. Reputations are as old as TRADE itself.
7. Has a Legacy/heritage
Certain reputations are very unique and carry with them a footprint so intrenched in the hearts and minds of people that it will never evaporate. It is not only people and organizations that have well established reputations, certain places also have powerfully rich reputations such the world-famous Roblin Island, situated in South Africa which a place that is symbolic of the triumph over the systemic oppression popularized by the late Great Nelson Mandela, who in his own right HAS an extraordinary Reputation.
It is worth noting that many individuals and institutions have used their reputations, to soar to unimaginable heights and whether or not we choose to accept it, we all have a living, breathing reputation that needs to be built and managed. We should therefore take some time to self-introspect our lives and see where we came from, where we presently are and finally where we would like to be in the future.