How people view us as human beings has become very important in this fast world driven by a high usage of social media. The world at large has placed a huge emphasis on reputation. Everyone fights to sustain a respectable reputation, from companies, to families, to churches. No one deliberately damages their reputation. How other people view us, as individuals, families, businesses, countries, and continents, has become a major driver of how we live our lives, although many might not admit it. But, can we build a valuable name for ourselves solely based on reputation? The answer is no. Reputation is the last thing to consider when building a name.
Here are 3 ways, including reputation, to consider when building a valuable name for yourself:
It is very difficult for your character to change; your character is who you are. Our character has a lot to do with who we are, and for many people, unfortunately, their reputation is not congruent to their character. Our mentality and our character go hand in hand. Have you noticed how some people would have a fantastic reputation as great and trustworthy people, only to find out that the person is a thief? This has a lot to do with the fact that the person has never taken time to work on their character and build values that allow them to elevate their mindset to a moral stance that doesn’t allow them to steal. Ever seen how a company would have a great reputation, but fail to deliver great products or services to customers? Sometimes it’s simply because it is not in their nature to deliver. So, in our endeavour to build a valuable name for ourselves, we ought to look inside ourselves, to really see whether our character can sustain us – our inner life determines our outer life.
This brings us to our second point:
Our image is how we present ourselves. Many a time image can be bought, that’s why people hire image consultants and publicists to work on their image and “brand them”. And image obviously plays a big role in carving our reputation; but someone can work on their outer image – speak very well, dress and smell really nice, but still be a thief. This means that their character will simply catch up with who they really are – a thief. It doesn’t matter how well we present ourselves if some of the flaws in our character have not been rectified. However, if one has taken time to work on their character, then a great image will work to their advantage. It would be sweet perfume if someone met a well-presented person who also has a good character to match their image. Also, a great image breeds a great reputation. People whose reputation has spread have to present a certain image to the world, and whether that image is congruent to their character is another story.
There is an interesting passage of scripture in the bible where that talks about the Queen of Sheba visiting King Solomon because she had “heard about him”. This simply means that his reputation had spread to reach her. What’s interesting in that passage is not that the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon, but what’s interesting was that she lamented; “What I’ve heard is indeed true because I see it” (along those lines). See, our reputation needs to be congruent with our image, and our image needs to be congruent with who we really are – our character.
In conclusion, for your name to be valuable; your reputation, your image, and your character, need to be integrated. That is what it means to have integrity. You can fake your image and you can inflate your reputation – but you cannot fake who you really are!
May you endeavour to build a good, valuable name for yourself, family, organisation, and country.
CEO, Quality Growth International