I thought I'd share a tiny excerpt of my forthcoming book, 'How to Turn A Bad Reputation Good & Make A Good One Better'.
The (e)publication date is May 2013.
You can download a PDF copy by clicking here.
Read on and (hopefully) enjoy.
'How to Turn A Bad Reputation Good & Make A Good One Better'.
That’s why people are prepared to lie, cheat, steal, sue, threaten, commit crimes and even kill to protect their ‘good’ name. A good reputation can be priceless. You don’t have to be a president, sports star, celebrity, geek or janitor to enjoy the benefits of a good reputation.
There are some people for whom having a bad rep is a good thing, e.g. gangster, dictator, rapper or talent show judge, but the rest of us probably enjoy having most people think of us in a positive way.
We all know what happened to Tiger Woods, the world’s number one golfer, with tens of millions in sponsorship and endorsement deals and a bulletproof reputation as a cool, calm, calculated and devastatingly effective operator on the fairway. All of this was virtually blown away following news of his extracurricular activities outside the marital home.
Despite his public apology and commitment to seek counseling, he was put on a spit roast of hostile media coverage to the extent that his career was virtually toast. But, he’s fought his way to the top spot again, plus he appears to have regained the respect of his peers and the renewed admiration of adoring fans.
I’m not condoning what Woods did for a second, but compared to the actions of Idi Amin, Colonel Ghadaffi, Saddam Hussein and - in some people’s minds - George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, he's a virtual choir boy.
The fascinating thing is that despite the public record of their actions (killings, bombings, wars, taxes, etc) there are supporters who will swear blind that they were good, honourable, decent, God-fearing citizens.
It will be up to historians from the different camps to keep putting their case forward, no matter how distasteful it may be to the detractors.
Welcome to the world of reputation!
This short book is a lighthearted look at some of the ways in which reputation is taken for granted, used and abused by people who often don’t realize what they’ve got until they see themselves in an unflattering light in public.
Why Reputations Are Under Siege
Reputations are in the cross-hairs of an unforgiving public intent on bringing down the privileged, powerful and protected people who seem to be exercising an increasingly strong grip on everything from the economy to government to law and order and free speech...
Whether it’s due to self-inflicted wounds or full frontal assaults from known enemies, so-called friends, acquaintances, total strangers or that thing called the Internet, playing the Reputation Game has never been more important.
Virtually every day sees new revelations of a scandal involving supposedly respectable people. Crimes, misdemeanors and cover-ups are flashed around the internet, splashed across newspaper front pages and rehashed on TV and radio. And that’s just in the media.
At the same time, ordinary people will be talking about the wrongdoing and giving their interpretation of things, at home, work and in every imaginable social situation. The end result: reputations are trashed, with all the good work that people may have done to date smashed into smithereens.
Once upon a time, if you mentioned at a dinner party that you were a doctor, banker, police officer or priest, it may have attracted automatic, unquestioning respect.
Our faith in professionals has been shaken to the core by the horrific tale of mass murdering medics, insatiably greedy bankers, brutal cops, corrupt lawyers and sexually abusive holy men.
This is against the generally negative view of politicians, journalists and lawyers who haven’t disappointed, with screaming headlines of lying under oath, hacking victims’ mobile phones and stealing millions from clients.
Given our perceptions of these groups (and speaking as someone who was a journalist, works with politicians and is the son of a lawyer), it was less of a shock to read about their shenanigans, but still a bit of a disappointment.
All this 'malfeasance' is causing irreparable damage to the status and professional standing of people who work hard and keep their noses clean. Despite their best efforts, they will unfortunately be tarred with the same brush.
That’s why you often hear the phrase: “they’re all the same!”
Understandably, those law-abiding, rule-observing, do-gooding workers may be depressed at having to defend the whole profession against the acts of a small handful!
They may find themselves impotent to act because professional associations, trade bodies and similar organisations with a vested interest in maintaining the standing and reputation of a profession may dissuade them from highlighting bad practices, breaches of good faith or illegality.
To be continued...
(c) 2013. Seltzer Cole/Fizz Media. TheReputationManager.co.uk
Thoughts on customer service, communication and, of course, reputation management.