How would you like people to regard you? I imagine you would want it to vary according to your target group? i.e. Family, lover, friends, colleagues, boss, employees, customers, suppliers etc?
It has occurred to me that to a large extent we are responsible for building our own reputations. It is true that sometimes our reputations are demolished by acts of chance or jealousy but mostly our reputations are built or destroyed by our own making.
Here’s a list of key words to choose from (select one from the two lists and see to which target group it applies for you):
Honest, clever, sexy, funny, courageous, strong, creative, passionate, balanced, dependable, helpful, caring, considerate, open minded
Focused, judgmental, unforgiving, tough, stubborn, narrow minded, arrogant, self centered, egotistical, driven, sly, dishonest, unreliable
Many successful people pay attention to their perceived weaknesses and then create mini publicity campaigns to compensate for them. The better they get at creating a new image, the more rounded and generally better received they become.
But why should anyone do this? Some people tell me that we should just be ourselves and act naturally. But I find this to be a cheap copout. Who are you? Who am I? What makes me me and what is natural? And what would I be if I was left to my own devices? I am told (and believe) that most of us would be thoroughly dishonest, if we knew that we would never get caught.
We can only judge ourselves by comparing with others and this becomes irrelevant as the very act of comparing changes the way we see ourselves. When we see a rich person, we see ourselves as poor. When we see a poor person, we see ourselves as rich. Thus when we ask our peers to describe us, we tend to try and ignore the stuff we disagree with and to latch onto the flattering comments, comparing with the person that gave them.
And so it is, those that build their own reputations are those that are making choices of who and what they want to be. They are the people that, more often than not, have a vision and objective to their life, loves or career.
So this week if I look somewhat distant, ignore me, its just that I am busy planning how to build my new reputation!
Have a good week,