Saturday, January 25, 2014

Your Reputation Is Everything

When I worked for a company, I had to let an employee go. To get back at me, she called my boss and accused me of verbally abusing her by using “the f word” and yelling at her. So my boss called me into his office and asked me what happened. I told him that first of all, I had my office door open the whole time, so he should feel free to ask any of the employees whose desks are close to my office if they heard me yelling and cursing. I then explained what happened, and said the allegations were totally false. He said to me that he didn’t believe her because he knew that’s not the way I operate, but he had to investigate.

Right now the story the media is obsessing on has to do with the Chris Christie issues, primarily the George Washington Bridge fiasco and accusations by the Mayor of Hoboken of bullying. What might have been a local story has blossomed into a national one for three reasons:

1. The governor is a national figure because he is potentially a candidate for the presidency.

2. He is a popular Republican and the media love to go after wayward Republicans and try to bring them down. Sadly there are too many wayward politicians in both parties.

3. Because of Christie’s tough guy persona, people are ready to believe the accusations against him.

That’s where reputation comes in. You can have a reputation as tough, but not a street fighter or thug. Christie, who I think has been a good governor, especially in times of crisis such as Hurricane Sandy, comes across as somebody who could be vindictive and manipulative. While Christie claims he “is who he is” and isn’t going to change, I think that’s the wrong attitude. What might have worked in local New Jersey politics probably isn’t going to work in national politics. If you are going to run for President, you had better start acting presidential – he actually should have started years ago.

People perceive you based, in large part, on your reputation. A good reputation can’t be bought – it has to be earned. Think about your reputation. It is the kind that will help you in future endeavors or hurt you?

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